West Wing Weekly Round-Up Dec 31, 2010

Dec 31 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, White House

Image by Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer and Director of the White House Photography Office

West Wing Weekly Round-Up

From the West Wing, we have the mailbag edition of the West Wing Week, President Obama used the recess to appointed six nominees to fill key administration posts that have been left vacant for an extended period of time, signed some bills and made the world a bit safer. Not bad for being on vacation, Mr President.

First, in this special edition of West Wing Week, we look back over the last year, watch the President sign a law getting those loud TV ads under control, and find out the answers to a couple burning questions (pay attention if you have student loans) from the mailbag:

And I should add that even though your President is in Hawaii, he’s getting loads done. On December 29, 2010 he signed: The Omnibus Trade Act of 2010 which extends the Andean Trade Preference Act Trade Adjustment Assistance, To require the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to fully insure Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts which provides for permanent Federal deposit insurance coverage for Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts, the interest earned on which is used by States to support legal aid for low-income individuals and the Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act which extends enhanced protections for service members relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosures through December 31, 2012.

Here’s the President’s statement on Removal of HEU from Ukraine:

“I congratulate President Yanukovych on the recent shipment of highly enriched uranium from Ukraine for secure disposal in Russia, which advances a top priority for my administration and for global security. This action brings us all one step closer to securing all vulnerable nuclear materials, as President Yanukovych and I and 45 other world leaders pledged to do this April at the Nuclear Security Summit. The low enriched uranium and nuclear safety equipment provided to Ukraine in connection with this shipment will support Ukraine’s development of safe and secure nuclear energy. These actions represent continued Ukrainian leadership in making sure that nuclear weapons never fall into the hands of a terrorist, and working toward a world without nuclear weapons.”

Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer and Director of the White House Photography Office, has his year in pictures up; beautiful photography. A must see.

Well done, Mr President. Happy New Year everyone.

4 responses so far

After 2 Years Obama’s Approval Rating Is Higher than Clinton and Reagan

Dec 30 2010 Published by under Featured News

The latest Gallup poll on President Obama’s job approval rating contained an interesting nugget of information. After two years on the job, Barack Obama’s approval rating is higher than that of two recent presidents who had big reelection victories, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. One term Presidents George HW Bush and Jimmy Carter, and post-9/11 president George W. Bush had higher ratings than Obama at the halfway mark.

According to the Gallup poll, Obama’s weekly job approval rating is holding steady at 47%. Despite all of the criticism that this president has faced his approval rating is down only slightly from the same week in 2009 when it was 51%. The problem with weekly job approval ratings is that at best they only provide an immediate snapshot of public opinion. They do not encompass long term trends, or the possible shifting of attitudes based on long term unfolding political developments, but with the economy continuing to struggle, the fact that Obama’s approval rating is remaining steady is good news for the White House.

At the halfway point of Obama’s term, his approval rating is right in the middle of the pack when the last six presidents are ranked. George H.W. Bush had the highest approval rating at the midpoint of his term, (63%). Second on the list was his son, George W. Bush, (61%). Next on the list is Jimmy Carter at 51%. Obama was fourth at 47%, and surprisingly two most popular recent presidents were at the bottom. Ronald Reagan was at 43%, and Bill Clinton was at 40%.

Both of the Bush presidencies had their midterm popularity boosted by the patriotism of being war time presidents. For George H.W. Bush, the Gulf War boosted his approval, while George W. Bush was still benefiting from the nation’s emotional reaction to 9/11 and their support of the war in Afghanistan. Because of this neither of these presidents’ approval ratings are an accurate comparison to Obama. Carter is an interesting case, but his approval rating was soon to plummet under the weight of the Iran hostage crisis.

A more accurate comparison for Obama is to the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. In 1994, Bill Clinton saw his approval rating sink to as low as 39%. The high water mark for Clinton from July of 1994 through the rest of the year was 48%. President Clinton’s approval rating from Thanksgiving until the end of the year did not go any higher than 42%. Clinton also suffered a disastrous midterm defeat where his party lost control of both the House and the Senate.

Until the current recession, the Reagan recession was the worst in recent memory. It might seem hard to believe now, because Reagan is remembered as a popular president, but Reagan’s job approval rating for his second year in office was 43%. Reagan struggled through most of 1983. He began the year with an approval rating of 35%, and it took him 11 months of the year to reach a 50% job approval rating.

After closing the year with a string of legislative successes, the talk of Obama being a one term president, or facing a 2012 primary challenger has faded, but the ongoing recession has taken a toll on the President’s job approval ratings. By looking at the differential between Reagan and Clinton’s recessionary and post-recession approval ratings, it is possible to argue that a poor economy can cost a president 10-15 points of approval. These things considered, President Obama isn’t in that bad of shape as he heads into the second half of his first term.

Only George W. Bush had a midterm approval rating of over 50% and went on to win reelection. Bush is somewhat of a special case as he benefitted at the midpoint from terrorism concerns and the war in Afghanistan, and he was able to narrowly win reelection by campaigning on being a wartime president, and the war in Iraq. In 2004, Bush was able to capitalize on American voters’ reluctance to change presidents during wartime.

As the economy turns upwards, Obama’s approval ratings will follow. The fact that this president has managed to keep his approval rating near 50% despite the economy, an epic midterm election loss by his party, and daily criticism by his opposition is not good news for Republicans looking ahead to 2012. Should the economy improve by the time Obama faces reelection, I think he will probably achieve a similar result to what Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton will able to accomplish with their reelection bids.

12 responses so far

Barack Obama And The Michael Vick Double Standard

Dec 30 2010 Published by under Featured News

There is an uproar and outrage over President Obama’s comments to Philadelphia Eagle’s owner Jeff Lurie regarding the team giving Michael Vick a second chance after he completed his federal prison sentence for running a dog fighting ring. Criticism has come from animal rights activists and political pundits who never miss a chance to criticize the president regardless the subject or issue being discussed.

Tucker Carlson, a substitute political commentator for Fox News went so far as to say Vick should have been executed for his involvement in dog fighting. Carlson is a fervent animal rights activist, but certainly doesn’t understand the nature of the law. There is no question that for animal lovers, Vick’s crimes were as hideous as is possible, but the law does not recommend the death penalty for Vick’s crime. The Eagle’s quarterback served his time and paid his debt to society, so calls for execution are extreme and contrary to the tenets of America’s criminal justice system.

The question though is not whether Vick deserves execution, but whether he deserved a second chance after serving his sentence. President Obama condemned Vick for his crimes, but was right in being grateful for Vick’s second chance to become a productive citizen. The primary purpose of Obama’s call to Lurie was to discuss and praise the Eagle’s organization for installing wind turbines in an effort to promote green energy.

Many Americans do not think it is appropriate that Vick was given a second chance and it reflects a long-standing belief that convicted felons are not worthy of the same rights as all Americans. A valid question is; would Vick have been given a second chance if he wasn’t a star athlete? The answer is most certainly no based on hiring practices across the country, and it is especially true now that employers can easily make background checks on applicants in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, employers will find more of their applicants have a criminal history because such a large number of Americans are either in the penal system or are ex-convicts.

America imprisons more people than any country on Earth, and as the ex-convicts re-enter society they find it increasingly difficult to find employment because of their convictions. Based on statistics from the Department of Justice, the number of Americans incarcerated, on parole, or on probation is one in every thirty-one adults, or about 7.3 million Americans. The greatest percentages of arrests were for consensual (victimless) crimes. Victimless crimes are currently illegal activities that result in no harm or damage to another person or individual’s property and include such activities as recreational drug use, gambling, prostitution, pornography, drunk driving, and traffic violations. Juvenile crimes are not included in the 7.3 million figure and make up less than 5% of the overall correction system population.

If those figures are not alarming, consider that 1 in every 45 Americans is on parole or probation and of that figure, the number of star athletes on parole or probation is infinitesimal. For convicted felons who have served their time like Michael Vick, their chances of finding any employment are increasingly slim and it explains why the recidivism rate is so high among ex-convicts; that is exactly what the prison industry wants. The cost of incarcerating the prison population in America is in excess of $68 billion annually, and it explains why unions representing correction officers wield such power and influence over legislatures in every state in the Union. In a state like California, the cost to house and maintain the prison population far exceeds the education budget, and it explains why there is a push to privatize the prison system. It also explains why lobbyists pressure legislators to vote against bills that would offer education and rehabilitation to parolees so they can find gainful employment once they are out of the correction system.

The way the system works now, a parolee without an education or adequate counseling will be back in prison within 1 to 3 years because they cannot find employers willing to give them a second chance. Employers like Wal-Mart or McDonald’s will not hire ex-convicts and one has to wonder if there is collusion with the prison industry to keep felons in the system.

Perhaps President Obama is setting a precedent by thanking Lurie for giving Michael Vick a second chance at being a productive citizen. With so many Americans in the correction system for victimless crimes, there is a need for reform to delineate between dangerous criminals and those who harm no one. There should not be a double-standard for star athletes, entertainers, or politicians who are hired as soon as their debt to society has been paid and regular citizens who still can contribute to society but have no fame or special skills.

The man who was caught with a prostitute should have the same opportunity as the man who killed dogs because they didn’t perform, but that is not the case. There is no equity in the system as it stands, and the way it works now the person who is not famous is most likely going to end up back in prison because they have no prospects for employment or the chance to contribute to society.

Americans love their athletes, and Michael Vick is a talented football player, but he is no better than the man convicted of recreational drug use. However, Vick got his second chance as he should have because he paid his debt to society according to the law. If Vick had been a clerk at Wal-Mart, he would not be given a second chance and the likelihood of him ending up back in prison because of a lack of a job would be all but certain. His crime, although atrocious, certainly did not warrant calls for execution, but if he were not a famous athlete, he may as well have been executed because the rest of his life would have been spent in prison.

Americans are quick to forgive celebrities for their crimes and happy to see them prosper when they are given a second, third, or fourth opportunity to become productive. It is high time that Americans afford the same opportunities to regular citizens who are convicted of crimes whether victimless or not. President Obama has set a precedent that lawmakers should follow by passing legislation that enables every ex-convict the opportunity at a second chance once they have paid their debt to society; although with so much money to be made by keeping the prisons full, that likelihood is remote at best.

Image: Politico.com

28 responses so far

Country Legend Merle Haggard Calls Out The Lies Of Fox News

Dec 29 2010 Published by under Featured News

In an interview with Rolling Stone about receiving the Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement, outlaw country legend Merle Haggard reflected on meeting President Obama. He blasted “the media,” for making up and spreading lies about Obama, “It was also nice to meet Obama and find him very different from the media makeout. It’s really almost criminal what they do with our President.” It is obvious that Haggard was talking about Fox News.

When asked by Patrick Doyle of Rolling Stone about the highlight of the Kennedy Center Honors Haggard talked about meeting both former President Clinton, and President Obama. Haggard said of Obama, “It was also nice to meet Obama and find him very different from the media makeout. It’s really almost criminal what they do with our President. There seems to be no shame or anything. They call him all kinds of names all day long, saying he’s doing certain things that he’s not. It’s just a big old political game that I don’t want to be part of. There are people spending their lives putting him down. I’m sure some of it’s true and some of it’s not. I was very surprised to find the man very humble and he had a nice handshake. His wife was very cordial to the guests and especially me. They made a special effort to make me feel welcome. It was not at all the way the media described him to be.”

When asked what is the biggest lie out there about Obama, Haggard answered, “He’s not conceited. He’s very humble about being the President of the United States, especially in comparison to some presidents we’ve had who come across like they don’t need anybody’s help. I think he knows he’s in over his head. Anybody with any sense who takes that job and thinks they can handle it must be an idiot.”

Now where could Merle Haggard have possibly ever gotten the idea that Obama is conceited? The myth of Obama’s arrogance is the favorite personal attack that Fox News uses against this president.

Here is Sean Hannity calling Obama arrogant:

Here is Karl Rove on Hannity also calling Obama arrogant:

Then we have Charles Krauthammer discussing Obama’s arrogance on Special Report with Bret Baier:

We can safely conclude that Merle Haggard either got the idea about Obama’s conceit from watching Fox News, or that the people who Haggard talks to everyday informed him about Obama based on what they had seen on Fox News. Many people have written about Haggard defending Obama, but to me Haggard’s surprise when he met the real Obama demonstrates both the power and the spread of Fox News’ misinformation.

Merle Haggard is a white man in his 70s with a GED. He is the base audience for Fox News. I thought his comments about what Fox News and right wing media are doing to Obama were right on the money. The misinformation and lies that they are spreading about this president on a daily basis is almost criminal. The problem is that Fox News is not only misinforming the 2 million people that tune in every day. They are also misinforming all of the people that the Fox News audience talks to. A mass media misinformation campaign becomes a grass roots campaign as viewers individually spread the inaccurate information and character attacks on Obama via word of mouth.

Merle Haggard by his own admission was a Republican up until 2007, and in a Time interview, he described himself as a born again Christian who turned away from Bush, but is not a liberal. Haggard said, “I supported George W. I’m not exactly a liberal. But I know how that Texas thing works, who those oil folks are and what they wanted in Iraq. I’m a born-again Christian too, but the longer I live, the more afraid I get of some of these religious groups that have so much influence on the Republicans and want to tell us how to live our lives.” Haggard supported Hillary Clinton in 2008.

The Fox News message seeps into the entire culture. This is what many on the left don’t understand. When Americans who don’t follow politics hear this misinformation about Obama from friends, relatives, neighbors, or co-workers, they don’t know any better and they accept the information as truth from a personally trusted source. I wish more people could have the same experience that Haggard did. They need to see the disconnect for themselves between the lies on Fox News and the truth about the President of the United States.

The truly vile part of this attack on Obama is the underlying racial component. Notice that Fox News likes to call the President arrogant and conceited. These terms are euphemisms for uppity. The message from Fox News is that Obama is an arrogant and conceited black man who doesn’t belong in the White House.

The story here isn’t just that Haggard defended Obama, but that we got to see one man’s reaction to being deceived by a right wing media/Fox News message. I have a feeling that Haggard’s anger at being lied to by the right wing media would be echoed by many other Americans if they could be reached with the truth. Countering the attacks and misinformation of Fox News is the challenge that President Obama, his supporters, and every single American who care about truth must face in 2011 and beyond.

89 responses so far

A President Reborn: Heading Into 2011 Support For Obama Surges

Dec 28 2010 Published by under Featured News

According to the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll, President Obama’s latest string of legislative victories including the ratification of the START treaty and repeal of DADT have resulted in people coming back to the President. The number of Americans who want the Democrats to renominate Obama is at its highest level of the year, while the number of Americans who want someone else has dropped.

According to the poll, 78% of Democrats want to renominate Obama. This is a five point increase from the last time the question was asked days before the 2010 midterms. Just as important for Obama is that while more people are looking to support him in 2012, fewer wanted a different Democratic candidate. The number of respondents who wanted the Democrats to pick a different candidate to head up the 2012 ticket dropped from 22% to 19%.

Women support the renomination of President Obama more than men, (80% to 76%). Those making more than $50,000 support the President in greater number than those who are earning under $50,000, (83%-73%). Interestingly, support for the President’s 2012 candidacy reaches some of its highest levels with voters over age 65. Eighty percent of senior citizens supported the idea of nominating Obama again. However, those under age 50 support Obama being the 2012 Democratic nominee by 3 points more than those over 50, (79%-76%).

Eighty percent of liberals supported nominating Obama again, as did 78% of moderates. Interestingly 70% of Independents supported the idea that Obama should be the 2012 Democratic nominee, and only 27% thought it should be a different candidate. 82% of self-identified Democrats supported renominating Obama, and only 14% wanted a different candidate. The idea of Obama being the Democratic nominee again is slightly more popular in the suburbs than in urban areas, (80%-78%). 83% of college graduates supporting renominating Obama compared to 72% of non-college grads.

To put Obama numbers into context, in 1994, only 57% of those polled thought that the Democratic Party should nominate Bill Clinton, but by 1996, Bill Clinton cruised to a second term with a landslide victory over Bob Dole. In comparison to where Clinton was in 1994, President Obama is in really good shape. Other polling has shown that the reason for the turnaround in the President’s numbers was the tax compromise. As American’s give Obama credit for the compromise, and see his legislative victories pile up. Obama has his momentum back.

In their post-November victory euphoria, Republicans have made a huge tactical mistake. After using their minority powers for more than a year to stifle the Obama agenda, the Republicans decided to compromise on tax cuts, START, DADT, and food safety, and gave the President new life. Many on the left blasted Obama for “caving” to the Republicans on tax cuts, but the Republican leadership was just as eager to make the deal, and they apparently had no idea how much this compromise would help the President.

Sure they got two years of their precious tax cuts for the rich, but at what cost? Obama got all the political credit, and went on to rattle off a string of victories before the lame duck Congress adjourned. If both the Republicans and the White House are smart, they will realize that compromise is mutually beneficial and will continue to work together, but when Republicans went from the Party of No to the Party of Well Okay Just This Once, they gave the Obama the opening he needed to revive his presidency. Once again, Barack Obama outwitted the leadership of the GOP, and heading into 2012, has look of a president reborn.

10 responses so far

Republican Support for Sarah Palin Plunging in Polls

Dec 28 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party, White House

Sarah Palin fares badly in latest poll

Happy New Year, America. Your country is recovering its sanity.

Yes, it’s true. After a rough two years of Palinitis stained by winning Politifacts’ Lie of Year award among other ignoble distinctions, it appears that even Republicans are mournfully unclenching their stubborn fists from around Palin’s star bursts. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 17-19 and it turns out that support for Ms Palin is nose-diving among Republicans. She has, in fact, lost 18% of her support since 2008 among Republicans. Sigh. Our country may be spared a civil war in 2012. Finally, the Republicans are doing something for America!

CNN Political Ticker reports:

“Among liberal Democrats, 85 percent say they want to see the party re-nominate Obama in 2012,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Among moderate Democrats, his support is almost that high.”

In the battle for the GOP presidential nomination, the survey suggests Palin may have some work to do if she throws her hat in the ring. Only 49 percent of Republicans say that they are likely to support Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008 for the Republican nomination in 2012.

“That’s a huge 18-point drop since December of 2008, when two-thirds of GOPers said they were likely to support Palin. It also puts her well behind potential rivals Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, and a bit behind Newt Gingrich as well,” adds Holland.”

Republicans’ dreams that Ronnie had come back to them in a skirt are dying a tedious, painful death, during which we are all being subjected to Palin’s media blitz until even the sight of her makes us weary. Palin refused to do the work necessary to be taken seriously and cashed in on her fame to make money and in doing so, she mismanaged her star power if she has political ambitions.

Oh, that’s right. I left out that OTHER part of the poll. President Obama enjoys a comfy 85% support from liberal Democrats and 78% of Democrats questioned in the poll want the President to run in 2012. Only 19% would like another nominee to replace the President.

Oh, dear. I’m glad I’m not anywhere near Wasilla right now. I’m afraid I can hear tin cans hitting a refrigerator from my kitchen window. And here the Conservatives for Palin were working so hard on their talking points about how Ms Palin had held elected office longer than President Obama (if you discounted his Presidency and included the City Council for Palin), because we all know how well the talking point of “executive experience” went over in 2008, why not try it again, even after the President has been…well…like the President for two years. Yes, this makes sense.

If you have any Republican friends with a Palin 2012 bumper sticker on their car, remember to be kind today. Dreams of the faithful die hard and Palin was hailed as the God chosen candidate for the evangelical right, so this has to hurt. I just can’t imagine how God can be so wrong, can you?

However, just because Republicans don’t like her doesn’t mean she can’t utilize the Tea Party to her advantage in the primaries and Ms Palin is known for working best with strong opposition from within her own Party, so there may be some hope to cling to here for the die hard Palin fans. I do hope someone assists them in their talking points, though, as re-litigating 2008 is not bound to be effective with any but the Kool-Aid drinkers.

Happy New Year, America. Looks like you might have managed to “take your country back” after all.

39 responses so far

A Rudderless Ship: The Left’s Betrayal of Obama and Women

Dec 27 2010 Published by under Featured News

The Assange Wikileaks affair has engendered outrage and anger from the Right and it is expected that super-patriot Conservatives would rail against him for exposing America as anything but exceptional. If nothing else, Conservatives are united, consistent, and predictable in their opposition to perceived anti-Americanism, and that includes their relentless criticism of President Obama.

Conservatives can also be counted on to consistently oppose women’s rights, and Republicans are notorious for voting against women’s interests as a matter of course. That being said, one expects the left to be the polar opposite of the dogmatic right, but recent events have proven that many on the left are no different than single-minded right-wing-nut-jobs.

The president’s tax deal caused the left to explode with rage inciting some to call for a replacement candidate to run against him in 2012. Regardless that the deal included extending unemployment benefits for millions of Americans, assistance for college, or that every American got a tax cut, the left fixated on the wealthy tax cuts. The compromise was not ideal and Obama said his focus was helping all Americans, but it didn’t matter to the idealistically fractured left because the group’s laser-sharp focus was on the wealthy tax cuts. The loudest protests came from MSNBC’s Beckian pundits who railed for days on end about Obama abandoning his base.

It is disgusting to hear Progressives and Liberals abandon their president because he didn’t fulfill their every whim regardless that he made a difficult choice to help the entire nation. One expects the left to think critically and look at issues from a broader perspective than those on the right, but there was little objectivity from the left and their criticism sounded like right-wing-nut-jobs and teabaggers they mock and deride.

When Assange released diplomatic cables on Wikileaks, the Left’s reaction was fairly predictable although some called for his head like their counterparts on the right. But when it came to light that two women in Sweden accused Assange of sexual misconduct, many on the left abandoned reason and showed their intolerant misogynistic true colors. Apparently where women are concerned, there is no discernible difference between the left and the right.

The amount of vitriol from left-wing teabaggers concerning women is shocking and absolutely despicable. Without knowledge of the particulars of the rape charges lodged against Assange, many on the left lashed out at the women as “honeypots” and accused them of being lackeys for the CIA. There is little doubt that many governments would like to muzzle Assange, and many on the right branded him a terrorist and some called for his assassination. But the Left’s attack on the two women demonstrates their disposition toward women is no better than the right’s.

The chauvinism expressed on the Internet and particularly this site proves that women are still held in contempt for speaking out against a man who sexually assaulted them. Instead of waiting to hear details, or a court proceeding, the women in the Assange case have not been treated as victims, but as vindictive feminists worthy of character assassination. It would be one thing if at trial the women confessed to setting up Assange for profit or favors from the CIA, but to find fault with them before any details are known shows that the left is still influenced by the male dominated society that devalues women.

Liberals and Progressives are supposed to be critical thinkers and models of objectivity, but that is an epic mischaracterization. Instead of waiting for facts, many saw that two women charged a man with sexual misconduct and immediately attacked them as if they were criminals.

Some comments on this site were shocking and not what one would expect from liberals just like it is unexpected that they attacked Obama for being a sellout. Obviously the enlightened left is rife with misogynists who accuse women for being victims. The timing of the charges is suspicious, but the instantaneous reaction that the women are at fault reeks of male chauvinism and is unexpected from the left. However, much like Obama’s tax deal, the left’s response and willingness to malign the women exposed them as little more than teabaggers who are Democrats.

Liberals who are critical before hearing facts of an issue are reminiscent of the Fox News crowd who worship Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin; the difference is they worship MSNBC and Keith Olbermann.  The attacks on Sarah Jones for her prescient, unbiased article were sickening and what one expects from the most ardent RWNJ. Sadly, many who read the article saw the word rape and automatically responded with anti-feminist rhetoric aimed at Ms. Jones and labeled Assange’s accusers as honeypots.

Perhaps the Liberals and Progressives who criticized Ms. Jones and the Swedish women have no mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, or grandmothers, or perhaps they have no compassion for anything except their single-minded pet issues. It is impossible to respect the left who have attacked the president and women before hearing the details of an issue. The idea of critically analyzing Obama’s tax compromise or the Assange affair escapes many on the left, and distinguishes them as left wing teabaggers; they should be ashamed.

However, they are not ashamed, and once the details and final results of the 111th Congress were revealed, the left celebrated President Obama’s accomplishments without any mention of their displeasure from two weeks ago. No one knows how the Assange rape charges will play out, but the left has exposed itself as misogynistic and biased against women. Progressives and Liberals must be proud of themselves for their wavering support of President Obama and women’s rights. It is easy to predict that when the facts are in, the Left will arrogantly claim they are the segment who was on the right side of the issue regardless the outcome. One thing is certain; the right is consistent in their ideological positions, and right or wrong, they stick to their guns. Liberals and Progressives though, abandon their core beliefs to fit the news of the day and it is just one reason Republicans and their conservative base control the narrative on every issue.

It is time for the left to go to the dark side and join the teabaggers, or lose their arrogance and start working together by critically analyzing issues and using their famed objectivity to rebuild what little integrity they once possessed. As of late, they have shown neither objectivity nor integrity whether it is their condemnation of President Obama’s tax compromise or misogynistic attacks on Sarah Jones and two Swedish women for no other reason than they are women.

31 responses so far

Obama’s 2011 Resolution: Escape the Presidential Bubble

Dec 26 2010 Published by under Featured News

Senior White House adviser Valarie Jarrett was on NBC’s Meet The Press today where she offered up an interesting New Year’s resolution for President Obama and the White House. Jarrett said they are going to get the president out more to listen and engage with the American people, “It’s really what gives him his energy and his strength, and so we’re determined in the new year to make sure that his schedule reflects that priority.”

Here is the video from NBC News:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

On November 3, Obama lamented being stuck in the presidential bubble, “When you’re in this place, it is hard not to seem removed, and one of the challenges that we’ve got to think about is, is, is how do I meet my responsibilities here in the White House, which require a lot of–lot of hours and a lot of work, you know, but still, you know, have that opportunity to engage with the American people on a, on a day-to-day basis and know–give, give them confidence that I’m listening to them.”

Host David Gregory asked Senior White House adviser, Valarie Jarrett about doing a better job connecting with the American people and she answered, “Well, he often says that this is his biggest regret, is that when he took office, because of the crisis that was presented to him, he had to spend almost every waking hour in Washington focusing very hard on solving that crisis, and what he missed sorely was the engagement with the American people. He said it right before he left for vacation. He said, “When I get back, I really want to figure out a way where I can spend more time outside of Washington listening and learning and engaging with the American people.” It’s really what gives him his energy and his strength, and so we’re determined in the new year to make sure that his schedule reflects that priority.”

All presidents get trapped in the presidential bubble, and they all hate it. In 2008 presidential historian Richard Norton Smith discussed with ABC News how lonely the job of the president can be. Smith said, “There are a number of factors that contribute to the loneliness [of being president]. Ultimately, it’s the sense of responsibility. The crushing sense of personal responsibility -– think of what this president is up against: a couple of wars and a spiraling economy –- there’s no escape, and that’s lonely.”

In 1947 then President Harry Truman said, “The White House is the finest prison in the world,” and that was before the Kennedy assassination lead to even more isolation for all future occupants of the White House. There is also a political consideration to getting Obama out of the bubble often in 2011. As we all know, President Obama will be running for a second term in 2012. It has become standard operating procedure for every challenger of an incumbent president to label the sitting president as out of touch with America. By getting the President out of the White House more, his administration is launching a preemptive strike against this criticism.

Whether it because of Obama’s personal preference or political concerns, only positives can come from getting the President out of the bubble, it is a good resolution for this White House to set for 2011. If President Obama is able to get out more, it will also be a sign that the troubled times of the last two years may finally be on their way towards being behind us. Having a president that is more in touch with the American people is a win for the president and the people. This is one resolution that I hope will make it through the New Year.

7 responses so far

Is Obama Starting To Act Like Teddy Roosevelt?

Dec 26 2010 Published by under Featured News

President Obama seems to have a hint of President Theodore Roosevelt in him, here.  President Theodore Roosevelt stood with American families and small business when he took on the monopolies and trusts. It seems that President Obama is doing the same with health insurance companies.  We must hold these companies accountable

If you are the CEO of Blue Cross/Blue Shield and you want to increase premiums 10% or more, you are going to have to answer to the people in 2011.

President Obama and many others know that health insurance premiums are hindering growth in our economy more than any other cost of doing business.  This is why he has taken the steps to ensure we hold them accountable when they decide to jack up the rates on our families and small businesses. 

According to Kathleen Sebelius, Sec. of health and human services, health insurance premiums for a family has increased 131%  since 1999. 

Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

The President and First Lady’s Christmas Message: Community Matters

Dec 25 2010 Published by under Featured News, White House

President Obama and First Lady MIchelle Obama Christmas 2010

The President and First Lady Focus on Community this Christmas

President Obama and the First Lady wish Americans a Merry Christmas and remind them to participate in their community, whether it’s thinking of the less fortunate this season, or encouraging everyone to support our troops and their families. This year’s theme for the White House Christmas was “simple gifts”.

The President reminds Americans that we are celebrating the power of peace, love and redemption and that most importantly, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Redemption might be an appropriate theme for historians as they record these first two years of President Obama’s leadership, and it’s worth a moment of gratitude this Christmas Day. We aren’t where we want to be yet, but we’ve made tremendous strides toward restoring America to a nation that cares for its disadvantaged, is more of a cooperative force on the national stage than the cowboy bully we were just a few years ago, and returning to a nation that shows her pride by investing back into herself with infrastructure, further enabling education for all not just the rich, healthcare reform, and the repeal of DADT — to name just a few paradigm shifting changes.

This President has his eye on America as a community of well intentioned citizens, who while they may not agree all of the time, do believe in the importance of Government as a force for good and can come together to get things done for the betterment of their country and fellow Americans.

Watch the President and First Lady’s Christmas message here:

From the White House transcript:

THE PRESIDENT: Merry Christmas, everybody. Michelle and I just wanted to take a moment today to send greetings from our family to yours……

THE FIRST LADY:
This month, more than 100,000 Americans have passed through these halls. And the idea behind this year’s theme, “Simple Gifts,” is that the greatest blessings of all are the ones that don’t cost a thing – the comfort of spending time with loved ones…the freedoms we enjoy as Americans… and the joy we feel upon giving something of ourselves.

So in this time of family, friends, and good cheer; let’s also be sure to look out for those who are less fortunate, who’ve hit a run of bad luck, or who are hungry and alone this holiday season.

THE PRESIDENT: Because this is the season when we celebrate the simplest yet most profound gift of all: the birth of a child who devoted his life to a message of peace, love, and redemption. A message that says no matter who we are, we are called to love one another – we are our brother’s keeper, we are our sister’s keeper, our separate stories in this big and busy world are really one.

Today, we’re also thinking of those who can’t be home for the holidays – especially all our courageous countrymen serving overseas…..So we’re encouraging Americans to ask what you can do to support our troops and their families in this holiday season. For some ideas on how to get started, just visit Serve.gov.
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THE FIRST LADY: If you live near a base, you can reach out through your local school or church. If you don’t, you can volunteer with organizations that support military families. And anybody can send a care package or pre-paid calling card to the front lines, or give what’s sometimes the most important gift of all: simply saying “thank you.”

THE PRESIDENT: America’s brave servicemen and women represent a small fraction of our population. But they and the families who await their safe return carry far more than their fair share of the burden. They’ve done everything they’ve been asked to do. They’ve been everything we’ve asked them to be. And even as we speak, many are fighting halfway around the globe – in hopes that someday, our children and grandchildren won’t have to.

The importance of the fabric of community weaves its way through the threads of President Obama’s speeches as well as his approach to governing. His notions of America as a community that encourages self-reliance but does not turn its back on the disadvantaged as well as America as a part of the larger world community that participates with respect rather than wielding its power while disregarding other world actors’ needs are an important shift.

Though it’s easy to focus on all of the change we want still to see, today is a good day for reflection and gratitude, as well as a chance to wish the President and all Americans a New Year resplendent with Americans who are willing to work with the President within their communities to bring about the change they seek.

I know, but it’s Christmas. A girl can dream.

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