Archive for the 'Obama' Category

02
Oct
15

Umpqua and Enough is Enough

http://go.wh.gov/7Gk8Eh

This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loves ones because of our inaction. When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seatbelt laws because we know it safes lives. The notion that gun violence is somehow different—that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt, and protect their families, and do everything they do under such regulations—doesn’t make sense.” —President Obama on the shooting in Roseburg, Oregon

Like he says, thoughts and prayers are not enough.

How can this not be the easiest thing in the world to see?

We don’t need to keep access to high powered rifles in case our government takes us over. We have access to changing the government if we want to — it’s called voting.

We can’t keep doing this, we just can’t.

Call me paranoid, but every Sunday when I’m sitting at the piano at my church job, or in a large crowd outside in my city, or teaching a class at my community college (where students have been escorted from classrooms, or police have knocked on the door looking for someone) I realize that this could happen to me. It could happen to anyone.

IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU.

Voters who think one issue is the most important often feel that way because of abortion. But consider this: if you actually believe life begins at conception you also have to realize that life does not end at birth. Are you therefore willing to vote to support access to healthcare, food support for poor families, decent education opportunities for EVERYONE (not just the children in your neighborhood), clean air and water, preservation of the planet, and THE RIGHT OF US TO LIVE NOT IN FEAR OF THIS HAPPENING NEXT WEEK, at your place of work, or at your children’s school?

This has passed beyond ridiculous.

Please pardon my language, but enough is fucking enough already.

08
Nov
12

he’s a good man, charlie brown; UPDATED

President Obama’s Victory Speech

What he said.

(I do wish we could skip the “God Bless America” part, since the implication always seems to be “and f@#$ everyone else.” Like praying that your football team will win, because they deserve it so much better than that other team over there in different-colored shirts.)

And then there’s this.

*****

In a related story, Only Daughter was being harassed a bit yesterday in school by fellow students whose parents voted differently than I did. She pointed out that they were only parroting what their parents said, and didn’t know enough about anything to have any ideas of their own. (I asked her later what SHE thought, and she said she didn’t really think anything yet, although, from what she could tell our guy was more sympathetic than the other guy. I was very proud.) (This is the girl who worries for hours, and feels guilty eating her dinner, if she even SEES a homeless person or someone begging on the exit ramps.)

Her teacher caught wind of some of these arguments, and started to have a nice talk about how American democracy works and how likely it is that in any given election just <50% of people will be unhappy and just >50% of people will be happy. I was thinking, as O.D. reported this, that this was such a wonderful opportunity to talk about differences of opinion and our responsibility to respect them, about reasonable discourse and discussion, about what a privilege it was to vote for our leaders and to be able to talk freely about that vote before and after. Rather, she went right from her first, reasonable point, to this: We are so lucky to live in the best country on the planet.

Yeah, that should help.

25
Oct
12

do “they” just not get it, or don’t I?

Apparently, there are a lot of women, (the NY Times cites them as being white, not-college-educated,) who are having difficulty deciding between voting for Obama or Mitt Romney.

This woman is described as representative of the sample:

She voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but is now torn. Mr. Obama has not lived up to his promise, she said. “My husband and I both have to work full time, and we’re just getting by.”

But she is not thrilled with Mitt Romney either. She said he would set women back because he did not understand their needs.

“Women worked so hard to get where we are today and to take our rights away from us is — no,” she said, shaking her head.

Behold the coveted female swing voter of 2012.

Let’s see: You have to work full time to pay your bills. (Um, btw, so do most of us, as we did before Obama was president, and will certainly have to do after Mitt’s president. Or does she think Mitt’s going to chip in to pay the cable bill?).

But Mitt doesn’t understand women’s needs.

Why do I not see these as equally valid, equally weighty arguments?

I must be missing something, because apparently this is not just this one person, but a measurable trend across the country.

Can somebody explain it to me? I don’t get it, and, actually, (believe it or not,) I want to understand.

04
Oct
12

the debate that wasn’t, quite: Updated

Okay, so Mitt did better than we expected, which isn’t really all that big a deal since we, well at least I, expected so little.

Obama looked like he’d rather have been just about anywhere. He seemed resigned. Or tired. I was frustrated by how Mitt almost without exception got the last word, and that Jim didn’t do a better job making them a) conform to their time limits and b) alternate more conscientiously between who went first and who went last.

Of course part of that was because Mitt was just frequently rude, and would keep talking and talking. And then there was that idiotic grin at the end of every statement, like “HA! Didn’t think I’d have an answer for that one did ya’? Well I did, so there.”

Heh-heh-heh

The arguments Obama should have made:

1.  No, Mitt, you must not have the right accountant, since you had enough money left in this country that you had to pay any taxes at all.

2.  Money spent on the oil industry is a subsidy paid to companies that don’t need it, and money down the drain; money spent on green energy is an investment in the future of the planet and in our ability to compete down the road with the Chinese, who are spending a lot more on green energy infrastructure right now than we are, and we will rue the day if we don’t do more to keep up with them. Speaking of jobs. We were speaking of jobs, right?

3.  Speaking of jobs, Mitt claims he will create 12 million jobs. Of course, like every other one of his promises or “plans,” that’s all we get — the statement, “I will create 12 million jobs.” Out of Play-Doh?

(Speaking of the plans, a friend posted on facebook last night: Obama: “Let me tell you about my plan…” Romney: “Forget that – awesome stuff for everyone!” Obama: “Details?” Romney: “(Details to be announced.) But did I mention how awesome it’s going to be?” and a friend of his commented: “I don’t know numbers, but I know awesome, and let me tell you: it is a plan, and it is awesome. Yes, this plan is a very planned plan…and it is definitely awesome. You might say it’s an awesome plan.”)

Something like that.

4. Mitt lies. Over and over, making up stuff. Obama cut 716 billion from Medicare? Mitt wants to cut taxes for the middle class? (Since when, yesterday morning?) (Another lie: Mitt’s health care plan would cover preexisting conditions. But not really.)

Obama didn’t call him out on any of them. Was he asleep? Wishing he were having dinner with Michele?

5. Mitt will lower tax rates and then eliminate loopholes so that the same amount of money will be coming into the federal government as before. Umm, isn’t this then, like the same thing? Oh, you’re right, it’s not. Because the elimination of the loopholes will operate on a sliding scale, he actually admitted this last night, so that it has less impact on those at the upper levels of the income scale, which means the poor and middle class will pay more in taxes and the rich will pay less.

6. Mitt “reached across the aisle” to pass a government-based health care plan, with 87% of the legislature being Democrats. This is an example of his ability to get things done in Washington and work with everyone. Not much of a reach really, when 87% of the legislature is already with you, plus a lot of the Republicans since government-based health care was originally a Republican idea. Way to go, Mitt!

No mention of the fact that the Republican legislator’s primary stated goal in 2008 was to keep Obama to a single term. Guess that would have sounded petulant and defensive.

7. He likes coal!

Ugh.

Where was my president? Too polite to go too far over his allotted time? Too conscientious to force revelations into barely-related questions?

This is probably going to seem mean-spirited, but I found this clip to be mildly amusing.

watch?v=bxch-yi14BE

25
Sep
12

looks about right

(Clicking on each headline should take you to the article in its entirety.)

(This right after his brilliant suggestion that we “kick [the difficult problems in the Middle East] down the road and hope someone else comes up with a solution.”)

To sum up: Apparently Mitt believes that he is in a dead heat with Obama,  ” . . . an outright denial of political reality, but Mr. Romney’s willingness to stray from the truth is at the root of what’s really going on.”

and. . .


an article which includes the line: “And we need to ask whether we now have an electoral process so vacuous, vicious and just plain silly that most people in their right minds wouldn’t go anywhere near it.”

Which reminds me of this. (Click “this” to read it.)

Alas.

If only we had a Holocaust cloak and a wheelbarrow. (I’m not really sure why the above reminded me of this clip, but it did. Maybe it was just the use of “to sum up.” It’s a good clip, either way.)

06
Sep
12

Well?

Watched Michelle two nights ago, Elizabeth Warren (honk if you’d like to elect HER president in 2016) and Clinton last night, Obama tonight.

Reveled in the diversity in the audience.

Cried a little (I’m a big fat baby, but still).

So just one question remains:

23
Oct
11

a sign of what we all should fear

Art Pope, who inherited from his father of a chain of discount shops known as Variety Wholesalers (basically a smaller but still incredibly profitable version of WalMart), is systematically purchasing legislative seats in North Carolina. (Click on the picture for a link to the whole article.)

He claims this is all done out of completely altruistic motives — rampant capitalism and the creation of wealth as the system that will save the world. His explanation of the existence of poverty and low incomes is that these are merely a factor of youth and poor education, but “usually, as people get older. . .they [will] save and retain wealth, and [eventually] work their way up.” He also claims that most poverty exists as a result of “self-destructive behavior.” Tell that to the nearly 33% of the minority children living in his state who are living in poverty. What were their self-destructive acts, one might ask? Being born to the wrong parents?

Meanwhile, he funds  battles (even more easily than he did before, thanks to helpful decisions like Citizens United) that put people who think like him into state government and on school boards and as trustees of major universities where budgets are cut and one of the best integration systems in the country is decimated, seeming completely to miss the point that he has made earlier — that a lack of education is one of the things that keep people from prospering.

And never mind the fact that he was born into wealth, status, and privilege, and that the “work ethic” that produced most of his wealth comes from the parents he was born to, the writing of the will that passed it on to him, and the people who work for his company at minimum wage.

He claims to be both a “traditional conservative” and a “classical liberal” (whatever that means), and that his philosophy is based in his belief in the “marketplace of ideas.” Meanwhile, he machinates the drastic cutting of university budgets, followed by a benevolent offer to donate millions of dollars to fund programs that would turn liberal-arts educations into “personal creation of wealth” trade schools.

So many voters have been beguiled by the (family foundation-run) Civitas-sponsored robo-calls and misleading-to-the-point-of-racist-sexist-and/or-libelous postcards deposited into their mailboxes that Republicans have gained a majority in the North Carolina legislature for the first time in a hundred years.

Pope reassures us, though, that there’s plenty we can do about it. If his opponents disagree, they’re welcome to “fund their own side.”

Because all those people working minimum-wage jobs and/or struggling to put their children through colleges that are getting more and more difficult to afford have the resources to do so.

We’re selling our country, and the running of it, to the highest bidder. When will we stop being sheep? When will we stop believing every ridiculous lie told to us by the people with money we all secretly wish we had? When will we hang up on the robo-calls and throw the postcards into the trash where they belong and actually bother to research the people for whom we are being asked to vote? And where are the true liberals — those who believe in both economic opportunity and social responsibility, those who recognize both the benefits of a free market and its perils, those who can frame our arguments in compelling and actionable terms, those who not only believe that we have a moral responsibility to make this world the best we possibly can for everyone but who can help us recognize that what is best for each of us is what is good for everyone?

I thought it would be Obama. I’m not sure anymore, especially because he seems to be so busy being conciliatory and careful he never really seems to stand up for what I’m sure he still believes in. But I am sure that it isn’t any of the current Republican candidates either, and I am constantly perplexed by the centrists who voted for Obama, are disappointed in what has or hasn’t happened since his election, and think that Rick Perry or Mitt Romney might be a viable alternative.

Meanwhile I’m too busy trying to scrape together a living from my three part-time jobs to participate in marches on any street, and am tiring of the flooding of my inbox by petitions that need to be signed and worthwhile causes that need donations. Where is all that wealth I’ve been educated for (doctoral degree) and work for and still can’t seem to accumulate while I pay down my $120,000 mortgage and try to put three kids through college?

Or maybe having three children without a multi-millionaire father and business to inherit qualifies as “self-destructive.”




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