Tag Archives: Obama

Why I’m Voting for President Obama

I’m voting for President Obama because I trust him to do the right thing, and even on the issues where we don’t agree I know that he will make his choices based on principles and what he sees as best for our country as a whole rather than based on political expediency or the dictates of narrow interests. I have confidence in him as President and I know that he’s principled because I’ve watched him in action first as a candidate and then as our president for five years now.

When this started out I was not a Barack Obama fan – instead I was one of the many here at this site writing posts against him and campaigning for his opponents (that included Clinton, Guiliani, Romney, and McCain at various points as the long primary season wound into the national election). I was against him as president and was pretty firmly seated in the “anyone but Obama” camp because I still believed all the far right bumper stickers about him, and even took part in some of the attempts to slime him with Reverend Wright and other things.

Even after he was elected I was still heavily criticizing him regarding jobs and the economy all the way into 2010, but over time he slowly turned all of those negatives around. He demonstrated his leadership time and again, and took a lot of heat not only from the right, but also from many of the progressives in his own party to work through issues with a highly recalcitrant Congress. Under his guidance I watched as multiple branches of our Federal Government became more open, more effective, and more efficient.

At the same time I watched the right become bitter and hardened, witch hunting not only our new president but also anyone in their own party who didn’t kow-tow to their hard right litany at every other step. The cracked pots were let in the back door, and I ran out the front, at first to become an independent, and then a year later a registered Democrat.

Meanwhile, President Obama took the fight directly to the specific terrorist organizations who were attacking us and destabilizing the subcontinent of Asia and the Middle East. He quickly got results, using a combination of drone warfare, sanctions, agreements and diplomacy to further US interests and missions.

He didn’t care if the terrorists were hiding in Yemen and Pakistan and being sheltered by factions of those country’s military. He went after them anyway, just as he had promised in his campaign; he took out leader after leader until we got Osama Bin Laden hiding in Abottobad, Pakistan. Both Romney and McCain had roundly criticized him for saying he would go into Pakistan during the campaign, but he persisted until justice was done.

I’ve watched our President in action, turning the country around, doing what was required to save the auto industry, putting the country back to work with construction projects across the nation when we needed it most, and I’ve seen him persevere while the rabid right did everything in their power to cause him and our country to fail. I’ve seen him smile and still try to deal with Republican congressmen even as one of them called him a liar during an address to a joint session of Congress.

That joint session was for his landmark health care initiative, and I’m glad it passed. Now all of my nieces and nephews have a chance to stay on their parents health insurance as they go into those starter jobs. Now my pacemaker isn’t a pre-existing condition hurdle to changing insurance if I want to.

It’s now five years later, and I’m a big supporterIt was that kind of bile and the over the top charges like “Death panels” at that joint session and Barack’s persistent work against our real foes overseas that made me reconsider the propaganda I’d been fed, and made me dig deeper into the issues. At most junctures I found myself deciding that our president was right, and his opponents were absolutely crazed, as I dug into the facts of each issue.

I found that we agree on most issues regarding climate, social issues like gay marriage, and women’s rights. I fully support the regulations on Wall Street — we can’t afford vulture and wild West capitalism of the sort his opponent wants.

I honestly don’t think there is anyone out there who can do a better job as President for the next four years. Instead, I firmly believe that putting anyone else into office would seriously jeopardize the slow but steady recovery that we are in.

That’s why our President, Barack Obama, not only has my complete confidence and trust as president, but also my vote for the next four years.

Yesterday’s Quote of the Day

This comes from President Obama, via Think Progress. It once more demonstrates that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t get past the primaries in today’s zealot and wingnut led GOP.

Now, when I point this out, some of the Republicans in Congress say, ‘oh you’re engaging in class warfare.’ Let me tell you something. Years ago, one great American had a different view. I’m going to get the quote, just so you know I’m not making this up. A great American said that he thought it was ‘crazy’ that certain tax loopholes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary.

Alright. You know who this guy was? It wasn’t a Democrat. It wasn’t some crazy socialist. It was Ronald Reagan. It was Ronald Reagan. Last time I checked, Republicans all thought Reagan made some sense. So next time you hear one of those Republicans in Congress accusing you of class warfare, you just tell them I’m with Ronald Reagan. I agree with Ronald Reagan that it’s crazy that a bus driver pays a higher tax rate than some millionaire because of a loophole in the tax code. And by the way, I don’t mind being called a warrior for the working class. You guys need someone working for you.

 

Obama on Investing in Nuclear Energy

“We can’t keep on being mired in the same old stale arguments between the left and the right.” This is all too true – we have to have cheap clean safe energy in plenty if we are to cope with the problems of our future.

Obama’s Hyberbole

President Obama decried the new Supreme Court ruling on corporate money in politics stating:

The Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special-interest money in our politics … It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health-insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. — President Barack Obama

I disagree with the word “New.” Special interests learned to get their message out while accommodating the restrictions of McCain-Feingold and other limits in a manner that makes the “who” behind the money much harder to find. I like the Supreme Court ruling because I would rather know who is paying whom for what.

Instead of Corporations paying for message directly and the public knowing who is behind the latest meme, everything is indirect and several places removed. So you have a Union or Corporation paying a foundation, and that foundation paying a faux political action group, a Faux think tank, (aka “Stink tank” – Discovery Institute, Heartland Institute, ACORN, Worldwatch, etc.)

These in turn spin off chaff for highly conservative and highly liberal “news” outlets (e.g. Frontpage, Pacifica Radio, AFR, etc. etc.,) which in turn back candidates and causes. Their chaff in turn is re amplified by crowd sourcing the bloggers within the political spectrum, and I suspect there’s a bit of “paid promotional amplification” going on as well. (see this very interesting Berkman Center lecture, then think about comment Spam and it’s origination after.)

It’s very time consuming if you you want to track that buzz or meme or outrage of the day to true source, but more oft than not it can be followed back to a special interest group who is highly anonymous to the general public.

I prefer a political environment where anyone may freely speak or pay, but where every penny is associated back to true source and recorded online as part of public record within 48 hours. Americans are some of the smartest media consumers in the world and it’s counterproductive to create restrictions that demand subterfuge for communication because with each step removed from the original source of the sometimes valid argument additional hysteria, hyperbole, and sometimes outright lies get baked into the message. It’s very hard to have an adult conversation about true issues in that media environment. We don’t need to limit money or speech, but we do need to see who is signing the checks. In my opinion it’s well past time to update our restrictions on political speech to match the new media.

Update: more background on this law, other campaign laws, and conflicting claims at Politifact.

President Obama and I agree

President Obama and I agree

I usually have quibbles, reservations, or complete disagreement with much of what our President says, but here I am in 100 percent agreement. Like it our not we are a high energy society. If we want our planet clean then we must have abundant clean energy to keep it that way. Approximately 25 percent of our domestic electricity production is used to clean sewage and treat water, something few people are aware of. Increased Nuclear energy here creates better prospects for our future prosperity, but also better chance for prosperity in the rest of the world. The current world food security crisis is driven in large respect by energy constraints, and we need to remove those constraints to fight hunger and to enable poor nations to improve their lifestyles; which will lead to clean futures everywhere.

A Boat on the Reef With a Broken Back

A Boat on the Reef With a Broken Back

… And I can see it very well.

To follow up on my earlier post about the real story of the collapse of Obama’s mandate and political capital on the reef of realpolitik and Dem infighting in Congress I proffer a few links:

The Hill: July has been a Disaster for Obama, Hill Dems

Ezra Klein: The Ghosts of Clinton Care

MSNBC: Congress Punting on Health Care Floor Vote

Politico: Dems Search for villains on healthcare [ We have met the enemy and he is us…]

RCP: Unreality Based

RCP: 10 Questions for supporters of Obamacare

The Note: Dems vs Dems

To recap: His two signature initiatives, Cap and trade and healthcare, are both stalled and creating animosity in Congress. Maybe with the high tide of return from recess they can effect some repairs and float these off the reef, but it’s not looking positive for the President.

One other note on this: Maybe it’s not Obama’s mandate that’s lying on the reef; maybe it’s Pelosi‘s West state mandate Agenda. Depending on venue it might be that some run against Obama in 2010, and some run against Pelosi.

Obama & The Real Story

Obama & The Real Story

The real story for Obama is grim right now: unemployment is at new-century record highs, his first six months in office are a failure, his budget is delayed, transparency is delayed, health care reform is on the rocks, and dissension within his caucus is at an all time high as they wind down toward recess.

If the real story were front page and center now everyone would be focused on the house and the splintering over health care going on there. The press would be dissecting the bill and the points of contention for the public with a bit more vigor than the shorthand of triggers and public options. It’s at the point  where there could be a rebellion and coming leadership change in the Democrat caucus if things continue this way. Even though there are outward signs of unity, this is surface only, and with elections looming in 15 months more is on the line than it would seem at the moment.

True to form when faced with real opposition and a bad news cycle,  President Obama has a habit of changing the subject. That’s why the Gates gaffe was made and in my opinion it was intentional. It’s also probably not a coincidence that nirtherism is front and center in the news again, even though left, right, and center are all calling birth certificate conspiracists marginal and crazy.

These things take the focus off of what’s important and change the subject to topical and idiotic irrelevancies. These are very skillful distractions, everyone has an opinion on racism – with the public in overwhelming agreement that it’s bad — and they all want to talk about it. Much more fun than talking about the boring points of a trillion dollar health bill, n’est ce pas?

It’s also always more fun to talk about marginal nutballs on the right than the unemployment picture too.

Obama is very skilled at these smoke and mirror tricks and by making himself the lightning rod he’s managed to take the focus from the real story for a moment: but his first six months are still not sitting well with the public, and his health care reform is a boat on the rocks of a distant shore.