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Closing Arguments – Why I Continue to Support Barack Obama, Civil Rights

I just saw a commercial from the Crossroads PAC. Basically, the gist of the commercial was that Obama has really done nothing for us, so why would we need another four years? As I mentioned yesterday, Barack Obama prevented a second Great Depression. The fact that the economy was actually in free fall seems to escape the folks at Crossroads. The fact that Republicans proposed little or nothing that would’ve helped get us out of the free fall is not addressed in the commercial. Tax cuts, the Republican knee-jerk answer to almost any question, would not have gotten us out of the depression. Fixing the deficit by decreasing government spending and cuts to GDP would’ve worsened our economic situation. This is exactly what Herbert Hoover did in 1930 and ’31. It doesn’t work to fix the economy.

Sorry, I got off on a tangent. Back to my original thought – Barack Obama has stood up and strongly supported women and women’s rights. Basically, he has said that women should be able to decide what is best for their bodies. Now, I wish I could say something positive about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. I simply can’t. Mitt Romney has been a supporter of women’s choice in the past. That was back when he was a moderate, reasonable Republican. Those days are long gone. Now, Mitt Romney, who is trying to appeal to the tea party, does not believe that a woman should have the right to abortion – under any circumstances.

Do you remember when Sandra Fluke testified in front of Congress (well, not Congress because Republicans held a “health” forum and not one woman spoke, remember? So Ms. Fluke spoke in front of a Democratic House forum)? That was an opportunity for Rush Limbaugh to personally attack her. What did Mitt Romney do? Did he stand up for Sandra Fluke’s right to express herself? Did he stand up to Rush Limbaugh and and other conservatives who called Sandra Fluke a whore? Instead, it was Barack Obama who personally called her and encouraged her to speak out. The president didn’t have to do that, but this type of action is in his character. It is in his makeup.

For some reason, conservatives have acted as if the Lilly Ledbetter bill was no big deal. On the contrary, the Lilly Ledbetter Act is a big deal. The simple concept of equal pay for equal work seems to be foreign to Republicans. They say that they want to stand up for individuality. Not so much. Equal pay for equal work. Simple concept.

For all these reasons and more I voted for Barack Obama. He has stood up for the civil rights of all Americans.

By |2012-11-05T08:54:58-04:00November 4th, 2012|Civil Rights, Elections, Party Politics|Comments Off on Closing Arguments – Why I Continue to Support Barack Obama, Civil Rights

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.

By |2012-11-04T21:42:08-04:00November 3rd, 2012|Congress, Economy, Elections, Party Politics|Comments Off on Closing arguments – Why I Continue to Support Barack Obama, Economy

Grab bag Thursday

  • obama sotu 2010I was unable to watch the State of the Union address last night. (I was on call and somewhat busy.) I did watch it at about 3 AM. (I do love the Internet.) I’ve been watching State of the Union addresses for over 20 years and I can honestly say that I don’t like them. Any event that turns what are supposed to be dignified congressman into cheerleaders is a problem in my book. Whether it was Reagan, Clinton, Bush the Lesser or Obama, it seems like the purpose of the speeches are to tell us how great we are and gloss over our problems. Don’t we have FOX News for that?
  • Now, don’t misunderstand me. I think the President Barack Obama did a fabulous job. There was that one section that made me somewhat nauseated. “Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare Medicaid and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will.” I won’t even get into the problem with discretionary versus “indiscretionary” spending. When 20% of our budget goes to national defense and 22% of our budget goes to Social Security and 12% goes to Medicare, there is a whole lot left over. We spend 7% of our budget just on interest. That’s over 60% of our budget. So, we’re going to hold spending on Head Start? Do we need to increase spending in order to increase demand until we are out of this recession?
  • Dr. George Tiller was gunned down while he was at church back in May of last year. His alleged killer is on trial now. Closing arguments begin tomorrow. In my mind, it doesn’t matter what Scott Roeder said on the stand. He’s never denied gunning down this man in cold blood. They should put him away and only let him out when the steel bars rust from age.
  • Nerves are raw everywhere in our country. Many liberals were calling for the replacement of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. After all, he did preside over the worst housing collapse in the history of our country. He ignored the warning signs. On the other hand, think about the backlash he would’ve received for standing up and crying wolf. Banks and financial institutions would have wanted to tar and feather him for calling an end to their party. I personally think he was a no lose – lose situation. In spite of the opposition, he won a second term.
  • Newly elected Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell gave the Republican response to the State of the Union. Two things stand out in his rebuttal. “The circumstances of our times demand that we reconsider and restore the proper, limited role of government at every level.” So who decides what the proper and limited role of government is? The new governor? The president? Congress? How do we pay unemployment benefits to millions while we are dismantling government? Personally, I want government to be large enough to be effective while still small enough to be effective. Whatever that size is. That’s what I want. The governor earlier quoted Thomas Jefferson as saying, “a wise and frugal government which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry… and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned…” It sounds as if Thomas Jefferson was supporting the Republican cause for limited government. Unfortunately, the governor got the quote wrong. The full quote seems to support the government’s role in our society as a balance against big business. “Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.” Did Governor Bob think that no one would look it up?
  • John and Elizabeth Edwards have split up. Just think, he was really close to becoming president. Doesn’t that send chills down your spine?
  • Housing foreclosures continue to rise.
  • JD Salinger, the author of the Catcher in the Rye, has died.
  • Finally, we’re preparing for our second snowstorm of the winter season. If you love snow, this is great. If you’re like me, snow is better when seen on a postcard. (Pssst… I was told before I moved here that it doesn’t snow that much. WRONG!!)
By |2010-01-28T23:24:36-04:00January 28th, 2010|Congress, Economy, Legal, Party Politics|Comments Off on Grab bag Thursday
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