Tag Archives: capitol hill

Interview with Joan McCarter from the Daily Kos

I was privileged to host the Jeff Messer Show on Monday and Tuesday. I was extremely happy to interview Joan McCarter from the Daily Kos. Joan has been one of the featured bloggers on the Daily Kos for more than five years. We discuss what’s going on on Capitol Hill; rather, what is not going on. Filibusters, repealing ObamaCare, government shutdown and more.

Let me know what you think. Enjoy.

Friday Morning News Roundup

Friday Morning News Roundup

There are many lessons to be learned and studied from the disaster that is characterized generally as Hurricane Sandy. One of these lessons that I’ve been studying has to do with the two hospitals which were evacuated. One of the best articles that I’ve read so far was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This is clearly worth a read.

For weeks, I’ve said that there really is no fiscal cliff. The heightened rhetoric that we’ve seen in the media by pundits and politicians can only be categorized as nauseating. First of all, Congress is already cutting $1.5 trillion in fiscal spending over the next 10 years. Secondly, non-defense discretionary spending is projected to fall to historically low levels if Congress does what it does best, which is nothing. All of the thoughtless yammering over the “devastating” impact of allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire is typical Washington hype. The percentage of small businesses which will be affected is minuscule. Yet, we are led to believe that hundreds of thousands of mom-and-pop businesses will instantly go belly up if the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire. Horse hockey. I’m afraid that the Democrats on Capitol Hill seemed to have little or no capacity to articulate reasonable and thoughtful positions on the budget. Our argument has to consist of more than the fact that the wealthy can afford to pony up a little bit more money.

A complete Internet and cell phone blackout in Syria shows the extent that some governments will go to in order to suppress the free flow of information.

Once again, the “Stand Your Ground” law is in the news. It appears that a 45-year-old Florida man shot and killed Jordan Russell Davis over some loud music. From reports that I’ve read, it appears that Michael David Dunn approached Davis and his friends at a convenience store, asking them to turn their music down. An argument ensued and eight to ten shots were fired. Davis ended up dead. Michael David Dunn is claiming that he felt threatened and was therefore justified in using lethal force under the Stand Your Ground law. If you think aspects of this sound familiar, I think you’re exactly right. Continue reading Friday Morning News Roundup

Closing arguments – Why I Continue to Support Barack Obama, Economy

I continue to be amazed at how some Americans will believe just about anything. Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Barack Obama was born in Indonesia. Barack Obama is a Muslim. Barack Obama is a communist. Over the last five years, I have heard it all. I’m sure somewhere I read that Barack Obama is really a space alien from the planet Alpha Centurai.

President Barack Obama has led the country in truly trying times. It’s only been over the last 15 years or so in which our political discourse has deteriorated so much that it doesn’t matter what you say or how you say it. Fierce opposition will arise. Take, for example, a truly simple problem – the collapse of Chrysler and GM. This should have been an easy bipartisan fix. Sure, there are some folks on Capitol Hill who are the ultimate idealists and believe that government intervention is never the right answer. But there only a few of those true ideologues. There are some these idealists on both sides of the aisle. President Bush started the process of helping the auto industry by giving them a bridge loan until the new administration could take office. Barack Obama took this initiative and ran with it. Almost instantaneously Republicans were against it. From a truly economic standpoint, the collapse of GM and Chrysler would’ve been catastrophic to an ailing American economy. Instead of Americans being able to rally around one of our signature industries, this quickly dissolved into a huge fight. Suddenly we had the great big, huge government takeover of an industry. Barack Obama was painted by his opponents as a Marxist or a socialist because he did the sensible thing. GM, Chrysler and Ford are now back on the right track. Their loans are paid back. They’re more competitive than ever. Millions of Americans now have jobs because our government stepped up and stood up for the American people.

When Barack Obama took office our economy was shedding over 700,000 jobs per month. It was the worst economic nosedive since the Great Depression. For many Americans, the Great Recession came out of the blue. Most of us were unaware that our economic boom in 2005 and 2006 was standing on a very precarious foundation. The housing market collapsed. Millions were laid off. Great Wall Street firms were folding like a deck of cheap cards. First Bear Stearns. Then Lehman Brothers. Merrill Lynch, a household name, was pulled from the brink of extinction by Bank of America. The stock market was tanking. It was ugly. It’s only with 20/20 hindsight that can we step back and look at how close we came to a real, honest to goodness depression. In my opinion, we were this close to unemployment rates of 15%, 18% or even 20%.

Barack Obama decided we needed an economic stimulus. Many economists were talking about a stimulus that was somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% of GDP. That would’ve been $1.5 trillion. Christine Romer, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, had $1.2 trillion as her starting point. By the time the plan bounced around the administration and before it got to Capitol Hill, the plan was trimmed to $800 billion. This price tag was simply too much for many conservatives in Congress. They went crazy. There’s no other way to describe their response. In order to win bipartisan support, the president and his advisers removed some of the stimulative projects and inserted tax cuts. They continued to insert tax cuts until they were able to get enough Republicans on board to pass the stimulus package. Let’s remember that not all government spending is going to stimulate the economy in the same way. In spite of the wrangling, the administration was able to get an economic stimulus passed. It wasn’t the best package, but it appeared to be enough to stop the economic free fall that we were in.

Over the last two years, our economy has been the little engine that could. Slowly but surely gaining momentum. Wages remain stagnant but we’ve seen an economy that has gained private sector jobs for 31 straight months. We’ve seen an economy that has gained over 100,000 jobs per month for the last eight months. Things are getting better. Consumer confidence is up. Home prices have stabilized and they are beginning to rise. New-home construction is improving. Things are getting better.

The reason I voted for Barack Obama (I voted early) is that, he has guided our economy from the depths of despair to today when all Americans can see that things are getting better.