Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Professor Calls Out Obama On Sharpton’s Show!

18 Mar

I was driving home tonight and heard some of Al Sharpton’s daily radio show.  Tonight’s topic was what is President Obama doing for the Black community.

One of Al Sharpton’s guests was a professor from Northwestern named Steven Rogers.  According to Professor Rogers, Barack Obama is not doing nearly enough for African Americans.  Leaving aside for the moment that Obama has barely been in the office two months and that he’s been grappling with massive problems in our economy and two wars, Rogers feels that enough time has gone by to prove that the President has turned his back on Blacks.

Professor Rogers sites as evidence what he views as a lack of Blacks in the administration.  He even put it this way that Blacks had been “relegated to the Attorney General (spot) and Ambassador to the UN”.

In fairness, even Al Sharpton felt forced to play defense attorney for the president.

Steven Rogers is clearly off base if not just plain crazy.  I know a lot of ethnic groups that would love to be shunned by holding the top law enforcement spot, the face of the US to the UN and of course the presidency itself.

Rogers is upset that Obama did not name an African American to head Commerce and two other departments he named but that I can not honestly remember at this late hour.  Rogers’ rationale is that the three cabinet spots he would have liked to have seen Blacks in have a lot of impact on the Black community.

I think the president should send Professor Rogers an apology card that simply says in the words of 70’s Steve Martin “Well excuse me!”

First of all, Commerce or the other departments he named don’t just impact one community or group.  They impact all Americans.

Second, is this really where we still are?  We have the first African American president, something many said we’d never see in our combined lifetimes, and he’s got to deal with charges that he doesn’t care about Blacks because he didn’t appoint enough on some professor’s arbitrary score card?

Maybe Professor Rogers should spend more time studying history and less time trying to boost his profile by making ridiculously misguided comments on talk radio.

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This Just In! McCain Consistent! Obama A Little Slick!

5 Mar

As I type there’s a $400 billion spending bill winding its way through Congress that’s telling us a little bit about both John McCain, President Barack Obama and the way business is getting done in DC these days.  The bill includes about 9,000 earmarks (for those who don’t know, earmarks are those little perks for the folks back home that politicians insist on putting in bills in exchange for their support of  someone else’s bill).  Anyway, those 9,000 earmarks, it turns out  add up to approximately $8 billion  out of the total of $400 billion. 

According to one Republican, Rep. Paul Ryan, his party is responsible for about 4,000 of the earmarks.  Whether Ryan’s number is exactly accurate or not is debatable.  Maybe you could find a Democrat who’d say he’s way off and that Republicans are behind 60% rather than 40% of the earmarks.   The point is that when you’re talking 9,000 earmarks it’s pretty clear both parties are still doing business as usual. 

And for that I say HOW DARE THEY!  Here we are in the worst ecomonic situation since the Great Depression and our representatives in Congress are busy padding spending bills with goodies to make sure they get re-elected by the voters back home.  When will both parties get their heads out of their collective ass and realize that we can’t go on wasting money this way?  WHEN?  I say!

Look, I took junior high math and I even passed it.  I know that $8 billion out of a $400 billion spending bill is a small fraction.  But, this isn’t about math.  This is about real lives.

At a time when America is struggling to make ends meet how do our representatives in DC justify blowing $8 billion?  Think of all the good that this small fraction of the gigantic spending bill could have done if actually applied to things we REALLY need.

On the flip-side of all of this is Senator John McCain.  McCain hates earmarks.  And he’s remarkably consistent about talking about it.  I’m sure he’s signed off on some in his past, but he’s done a good job this week railing against them.  I think he did America a favor by taking the president to task for supporting this bill when President Obama has pledged to change the way these things go down in Washington.  So cheers to John McCain.  Let’s hope he keeps on fighting against business as usual.

That all said, I’m still glad Senator McCain didn’t win this past fall.  I think it’s one thing to take positions like his as a senator.  It’s a whole other thing to stay so strong in your positions when you’re the president and the country is counting on you to get things done, which brings us to one Barack Obama…

What does the Obama Administration have to say about their support off a bill laden with pork and clearly against the spirit of what they sold the American people?  It’s interesting.  President Obama and his team are taking a slick approach on this one.  The spin is that this is actually a spending bill that had been hammered out under President Bush and so they’re letting it get through “as is” due to the dire circumstances of our economy requiring swift action.  But, they are promising that moving forward they’ll be fighting earmarks with ever fiber of their being.

Nice spin, but total bull-@@@@! 

The fact is that President Obama has had no trouble turning over his predecessor’s rulings previously.  Why the problem now? 

Furthermore, the president blew an opportunity to really set a tone.  There’s still time.  As someone who thinks the president is doing a good job so far and was happy to see him elected in the first place (I’m no Rush Limbaugh…), I encourage him to think seriously about re-visiting  his support of this spending bill.

Whether he was president or not when the bill was written, it’s his responsibility to make sure it’s a good piece of legislation when he signs it into law.  Obama is clearly trying to have it both ways here.  That move may end up costing him down the line.

It’s good to be a little slick after all, but you’ve got to be careful you don’t end up getting lost on a slippery slope…

A Shock Jock Runs The Republican Party! And That’s Only The Second Worst Thing To Happen To Republicans This Week!

4 Mar

On the heels of the ELECTED head of the Republican Party apologizing for nothing to blowhard Rush Limbaugh comes more bad news for the GOP.  A Wall Street Journal poll reports that the president that Limbaugh hopes fails currently has his highest approval ratings ever.

After six weeks on the job, according to this poll, Americans overwhelmingly approve of the job the Obama Administration is doing.  Americans, the poll finds, are blaming Republicans for the lack of bipartisanship in our nation’s capitol.

Boy oh boy, that’s bad news for the GOP.  Looks like the GOP’s “principled stand” against Obama’s stimulus package is being read by Americans for what it truly is… politics as usual.  Republican leadership just doesn’t get it.  Now is not the time for back in the day politics.  Now is the time for new ideas not old platitudes.

No amount of election losses  can get it through the thick heads of the GOP elite.  The mood in the country has changed and it’s not changing back quickly.

Michael Steele would have been much better off telling Rush he’d never cow tow to him rather than embarrassing himself by apologizing to a guy who is busy defending the polices that most Americans think got us into this economic mess in the first place.

It’s too bad because America could use a second party of new ideas right about now…

Risky Games! Does The President Or The GOP Have The Pulse Of The Nation?

26 Feb

I think it was soon after being elected that Barack Obama started making statements about how we needed to get the economy going again and so his administration wasn’t going to spend much time worrying about our record deficits.  The logic was job was to get America working again and once that was accomplished it’d be easier to cut our massive deficits.

As far as I could tell, Obama’s logic was widely accepted as reasonable.  People were willing to give him a short term pass on the deficit problem.  Most politicians would have stopped right there.

President Obama we may be finding out isn’t just any politician.  The President is proving to be a truly ambitious guy and a risk taker to boot.  Not only is he putting billions of dollars towards stimulating the economy, now he’s planning on cutting deficits at the same time.  Basically, he’s increasing spending massively while pledging to cut drastically.  That’s going to be one difficult trick to pull off.

These are tough times.  These are times that demand ambitious plans.  Perhaps our best bet is a comprehensive approach that tackles many of the big ticket items that ail and drain our economy:  Iraq, Afghanistan, deficits, health care, the auto industry, infrastructure problems.  I can go on…  So, maybe it’s all tied together and President Obama is wise to try to tackle it all while he’s still got the political capital to do it.

For the country’s sake and his own political future, he’d better be right.  Obama is persuring a high risk/high reward strategy.  If things work out, he may end up as one of our most accomplished leaders.  If the economy doesn’t turn around and if he’s unable to bring down the deficits, he risks being labeled as someone who could not deliver on bold promises made to a country in need of some good news. 

Obama could have chosen a safer route and everyone would have understood.  I admire his refusal to do so and pray that he’s right.

Speaking of the right… The GOP is clearly playing their own version of a high risk/high reward strategy.  Putting some context on  it, it’s very clear that at least in the House, Democrats have not been governing in much of a bi-partisan manner.  Republicans simply haven’t been given much input into writing bills like the recently passed stimulus package.  Furthermore, the GOP doesn’t have the numbers to block the Democrats from shutting them out.  So, y0u can understand why they’d be a bit grumpy.

Still, the GOP decision to stand idly by while the country continues to struggle is a big risk.  If things go well for them, things will go bad for the country.  That means that the GOP will be able to say “see, we told you so”.  Hmmmmm….  I wonder if the country is going to give them points for being right in the end or if people will wonder how the Republicans they elected to represent them could have sat out on the sidelines while things got worse and worse?

These are not ordinary times and so ordinary politics just won’t do.

Let’s look at the flip side, let’s say the economy improves.  What will Republicans say then?  Won’t the public remember a new president who spoke about bi-partisanship only to find very few Republicans willing to work with him at a time when the country needed them most?  Sure, as I noted earlier in this post, the Democrats in the House aren’t playing nice either.  The question is will the general public remember that?

Obama is clearly taking a massive risk.  Yet, I can see clearly how there’s a potential upside.  The GOP on the other hand is pursuing a risky strategy that seems destined to either leave them with no potential upside or very little even if they end up being right and Obama’s policies don’t improve the economy.

Perhaps Republicans aren’t understanding how bad time are?  How can some GOP governors say with a straight face that they might turn down stimulus money?  I’m suspecting that if I’m a struggling conservative everyman in a conservative state where services are being cut  at a  time when I need them and my governor is refusing aid, I would not be happy about it.  In times like these ideological concerns quickly give way to the practical.  Maybe that’s what the GOP isn’t grasping.

On the drive home this evening, I was listening to talk radio on NPR.  A small business owner called up and said she’d always been a Republican but can’t stand to see her party doing nothing during this crisis.  She told the host and his Republican Congressman guest (whose name I didn’t catch – my bad!) that the GOP keeps saying small business will lift us out of this mess.  The caller said she’s done all she can and now it’s time for government and politicians to help.

Listen, I know it’s NPR, but if the caller truly was a Republican than the GOP just might be in real trouble.  It really calls into question whether the party has the pulse of the nation.

My guess is no.

New York Post Cartoon Is Racist And Worse Yet, Lame!

19 Feb

Yesterday, the geniuses that run New York’s biggest waste of dead trees, published a cartoon that somehow combined the crazed chimp that had to be shot dead in Connecticut and the recently passed stimulus package.

Was it racist?  Of course.  When you reference the writer of the stimulus package and imply it was the chimp a few things are gonna happen. First, even though he didn’t write the bill, most people are going to think you’re referring to the president.  Second, most people, whether racists or not, are going to recognize the tried and true tactic of demonizing people of color as animals like apes and chimps.  It’s a sad part of of human history that racists often have used the comparison to make blacks and other non-pale groups appear as somehow less than human.  Finally, some people are going to make the leap that the Post is endorsing that the president be shot.

Implied violence against any public official is a bad thing.  I’m not saying that the Post was advocating any violence.  Still, they should have recognized that it would read that way.  At best, their choice to run the cartoon was irresponsible.  Then again, I don’t think anyone reading their rag expects responsible journalism from The Post.

Worst of all, the cartoon was simply unfunny.  It barely made sense.  It leads one to believe they published it simply to court controversy.

If so, mission accomplished.  And if that’s their ultimate purpose, then I guess it’s best to stop talking about the cartoon right now.

After all, when you find yourself actually believing that Al Sharpton is working in in the public interest for once, what more is there to say…

One Obama Supporter Asks For A Side Order Of Substance!

29 Jan

I don’t pretend to be an expert on economics or even what President Obama is advocating for in the coming massive bail out package.  I do pretend to be and am actually someone rooting hard for the new president to make good.

When Barack Obama first started talking about an economic rescue package he often referenced the things FDR did all those years ago to try to revive the battered American economy.  I’ve been reading a lot of opinions on what Obama is planning to do and one criticism keeps nagging at me.

Where is the substance?  What will be accomplished with all of the money?  Sure, we’ll spend it and hopefully it will point the economy in a better direction.  But, then what?

What will we have left behind?  I know that even FDR didn’t spend all of the cash on bricks and mortars stuff.  I also realize that this crisis gives the new president an opportunity to take on much more than the economic slump, as bad as it is.

It’s wise of President Obama and his team to think of ways to use this crisis to achieve changes to social programs and entitlements that greatly effect the American economy.

It’s just that I thought the actual investment in something concrete would be much deeper than what I’m hearing.  I may have the numbers a bit wrong but my recollection is that about $90 Billion will go toward repairing our highways and bridges and other infrastructure.

Not bad right?  Don’t be too sure.  Remember that the  recovery package is zooming past $800 Billion as I type and you read (thanks for that by the way).  So, the percentage going toward infrastructure isn’t as impressive when looked at as a percentage. 

Worse yet, let’s talk about Ike.  President Eisenhower, when he went about creating a nation highway system, funded it to the tune of $25 Billion and that was in 1950s dollars which would make it worth say 800 gajillion dollars today.  Ok, I made that gajillion thing up, but you get the point.  Again, that $90 Billion that Obama is offering isn’t so impressive in comparison.  And PS, the total cost on our highway system came to over 110 Billion.  But, aren’t we glad we have it now?

Unlike certain rotund right wing radio blowhards (yes, you Rush Limbaugh), I do want to see the president (any US president) and America win.  So, I’m rooting and hoping that Team Obama knows what they’re doing.

I just hope there’s something left over after the recovery package for future generations to remember it by.

Joe Biden Bombs With Joke About Justice Roberts! Obama Not Happy! (Video)

24 Jan

He may be second in charge at the White House, but Joe Biden’s already making his play to be the number one jokester in the administration.

Check out his act in the video below:

The VP busts out a joke that fails badly during a swearing in ceremony for some senior staff.  Maybe President Obama was laughing inside??

Yeah, that’s it…