Time to act

July 17, 2014

It is time for the President of the United States to act decisively in reversing and ending the sudden influx of children from Central America to the United States.  Change immediately the 2008 legislation that is being abused in ways not anticipated, and return children to the homes in Central America.

to his great credit . .

April 28, 2014

For all the difficulties experienced since last year, to his great credit, Obama has not thrown constituents under the bus in an attempt to get legislation done at all costs.  While I utterly understand and supported Clinton’s triangulation a la Dick Morris, with the welfare reform act, a major constituency **felt** that they were thrown under the bus for political reasons.  Again, let me repeat: welfare reform was needed.  It’s just that the **perception** was such that certain folks on the left and the policies they represented were . .  well you know what I mean.  But, Obama had not done so. . . . and, while on Obama, there’s a certain narrative taking hold about how he’s handling the Putin\Ukraine situation that, even I often believe, is compelling.  But, if you step back and think about **how** he’s approaching the matter, I can actually fathom a method to this madness, and, for this reason, am willing to cut him slack.  But, I do think he’s cutting it much too close.  PS: I think I got my campaign web-site in the shape I finally want it . . . whew!

careful, steady as she goes . . .

February 15, 2011

The unfolding events in Middle East spreading like wildfire from Tunisia to Egypt and further eastward to Iran point to one thing: when America leads by example, the world follows.

No doubt, decades upon decades of economic and political frustration simmering below the surface finally came to a boil, and this is main reason for the wave of people-power arching through the Middle East.

But what (or more precisely who) was the inspiration behind all this, if even unstated?

Barak Obama.

Or, the idea that Barak Obama represents.  That democracy and freedom work.

Millions upon million of young adults upon hearing of Obama’s election to the highest position in the United States must have had a “whoa” moment and thought something along the lines of, “Whoa, the land of the so-called Great Satan voted a man whose coloring is like mine, with a name like Barak ‘Hussein’ Obama?” The implied predicate: that perhaps all that many in the Middle East have been taught about the US was and is not so.

While there was no overt or even immediate embrace of the American brand –  it doesn’t work that way – many excited by Barak’s election must have tucked away in their hearts and memory banks the idealism Obama’s election represented, in hopes of drawing on it some day for themselves.

If it can happen there, why not here in the Middle East, many must have asked themselves.

Thus, the loosening of mortar of the wall separating people from their hopes and aspiration.

We can never loudly proclaim the above lest we spoil the moment.  And what reward there is to speak of will simply be paid in knowing glances and subtle hints of appreciation.  That is enough.

Commemorate Reagan

February 4, 2011

The 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan is fast approaching.  I hope the nation can celebrate it with some special announcement.  A special edition dollar coin with Reagan on it perhaps?  Something.  Let’s do something to honor this great American President.

too, too funny . . . g’obama!

August 18, 2010

Here’s a funny story posted on politico by way of yahoo.  “It started out simple enough. There was a car (the economy). And a ditch (the recession). Republicans had been driving the car (were in power) for eight years. It went into the ditch. And now that Democrats have dug the car out (won power and passed a bunch of economic recovery policies), the Republicans want back the keys (power).”  For more, click here.  G’obama!

supreme court nominee troubling

May 20, 2010

The selection of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is troubling on many scores.  First and foremost, she has no experience as a sitting judge.  While a number of Supreme Court appointees in the past never sat on the bench prior to their nomination, nonetheless a number previously held elected office in which they made public policy decisions.  Today, there’s even more reason why nominees must have judgeship experience, if for no other reason than they will have shown themselves capable of making real-time / real-life / in-the-fish-bowl decisions — important or otherwise — in the face of wide range of complex and often-time competing legal, social, economic, cultural and political forces.   And while Kagan has been involved in weighty matters of the day, early indications are that she prefers taking safe over strong positions.  One day she joins the comfort of forty professors in opposing US military policy toward gays and lesbians; on another, she writes that there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.  It appears her positions on issues of the day are a function of the company she keeps, suggesting an absence of core beliefs by which she moors her world-view on matters of deep fundamental importance.  In stark contrast to Kagan, Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor prior to her nomination was a sitting judge with a history of court decisions, in some cases controversial.  And, for good or bad (more good than bad, in our opinion), Sotomayor articulated a world-view connecting her biography and judgeship.  We are generally and specifically supportive of President Obama and doubly-confident of his decision-making and leadership, but, nonetheless, feel compelled to express our trouble with the nomination of Elena Kagan to one of the most important offices of the United States of America.

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david brooks

March 5, 2010

I normally like David Brooks.  His style.  His politics. What he has to say.  But his recent column about the Tea Party movement was just plain stupid.  The Tea Party is a damn Republican front.

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tea party = republican front

March 5, 2010

New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote a piece this morning in which he favorably compared the Tea Party Movement with the New Left civil right/anti-war movement that emerged in the 1960s, at least with respect to methods.

Oh for gawds sake, David.  The Tea Party is a Republican front.  Nothing less, nothing more.

Maybe the bulk of folks in it are independents — but the Tea Party leadership is outright Republican and anti-Democrat.  It’s led by the very same Republicans who said nothing, did nothing while GW Bush went merrily on his spending spree.

When the so-called Tea Party kicks out those “said nothing, did nothing” Republicans from the top echelons and invites Democrats, then I’ll perk up and listen. ‘Til then, fogettaboutit.

It’s just another arrow in the Republican quiver against Democrats.

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bayh says move to the middle

January 25, 2010
Strange how a single loss can mean so much in terms of the history and direction of this country.   There’s a message in there that’s got to be worth listening to.  Is there any louder wake-up call than the loss of Ted Kennedy’s seat to a Republican?  Not spending time to figure out where our footing is firmest on grounds that are ever shifting if not sinking is a recipe for disaster. . . . . But, let’s not panic. Don’t need to call Winston Wolf just yet, okay.  This is January 1994, not January 1995.  If it was January 1995, then maybe you call the problem solver.  Maybe not.  Above all, Obama needs to be the cool cucumber that he seems to be, because that’s who the nation needs: a thoughtful, deliberate, and activist president (within reason, of course).

Bayh’s Prognosis: Democrats Must Move to the Middle, By Gerald F. Seib, Wall Street Journal (January 25, 2010)

Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, the very embodiment of calm understatement, seems an unlikely character to play the role of scold. But in recent weeks—particularly after last week’s Massachusetts mauling—he has been scolding his Democratic Party, and sternly.

His message: Democrats and their president need to move decisively to the political center and root themselves there by showing they are serious about controlling spending and the deficit, which angry mainstream voters see as the real sign that Washington is out of touch.

Thus, while many Democrats complain the Obama administration’s problems arise because it hasn’t been aggressive enough in pursuing a liberal agenda, Mr. Bayh arises to make the opposite case.

President Barack Obama, Mr. Bayh said in an interview, needs to “step it up” in his State of the Union address Wednesday and get tougher with Congress. Here’s his message to the White House: “My strong advice is for you to draw a line in the sand on spending in the State of the Union, and to have the president pledge to veto spending bills that exceed the limits he puts out.”

Many in his party, Mr. Bayh said, are “tone deaf” about the real message voters are sending, which is that Democrats have “overreached rather than looking for consensus with moderates and independents.” He added: “It is amazing that some people here in Congress still don’t get it.…For those people it may take a political catastrophe of biblical proportions before they get it. I don’t think we’ll get to that. But we might.”

These are stern words from a man known more for rounding the edges of a debate than sharpening them. But they come from someone who knows a thing or two about Democrats wandering into political minefields.

Mr. Bayh saw it happen in his own family. His father, Birch Bayh, was a respected veteran senator from Indiana in his own right when the conservative Reagan Revolution snuck up in 1980 and washed him and a Democratic Senate majority out to sea.

The son subsequently followed his father into politics and became governor of Indiana at the age of 32. From that seat, he watched as Democrats in Washington were again hit by a wave from the right in 1994 and lost control of both houses of Congress.

“Every 14 or 16 years we seem to have to relearn this lesson,” Mr. Bayh said. “I do have a sense of deja vu, and the movie doesn’t have a happy ending.” But, he added, “there is an alternative ending we have an opportunity to write.”
He has a personal stake in the ending, for he is up for re-election this year. He has been considered among the safest of Democrats, having won his seat last time with 62% of the vote. He has polled well ahead of any known Republican foes and has a daunting $12.7 million campaign war chest.

Still, the climate has turned so rapidly that some national Republicans are urging conservative Rep. Mike Pence, the House’s third-ranking member and a vocal leader of the opposition to Democrats’ health-care overhaul efforts, to challenge Mr. Bayh. It’s unclear whether he will; Indiana’s filing deadline is still a few weeks away. Mr. Bayh said his poll numbers suggest he has a strong lead against any Republican foe.

In any case, Mr. Bayh has been sounding political alarm bells for weeks now over rising anger in the heartland. Part of voters’ anger, he said, is directed “at all large institutions that they think have an unfair advantage. Part of it is a feeling that the rules of the game have been rigged to favor the big guys over ordinary people.”

But Mr. Bayh bored in on this: “Part of it is anger at fiscal irresponsibility in Washington. People are having to make hard choices.…They don’t see Washington joining in that.”

Thus, Mr. Bayh was one of only three Democrats to vote against a massive, catch-all, end-of-year spending bill his party’s leaders steered through Congress in December. He then asked Mr. Obama to veto it. In the aftermath of the vote, he put out a statement saying bluntly: “Washington is totally out of touch with mainstream America.” Remember, that was well before Democrats lost that Massachusetts Senate seat.

Now, Mr. Bayh wants Congress to pass a jobs bill without “the usual grab bag” of spending items, but with tax cuts for small businesses that create jobs.

He isn’t sure bashing banks will bring real economic improvement to average Americans, and he staunchly opposes denying Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke a second term. He said he prefers “positive populism” in the form of, for example, more aggressive moves to create jobs and lower college costs. Above all, he wants that presidential line in the sand on spending and deficits.

“The only way Democrats can govern in this country is by making common cause with moderates and independents,” he said. “It may be too late to regain them on health care. It’s not too late to regain them on spending.” To a president being pulled by some toward the left, and by others toward easy populism, Evan Bayh makes the case for driving a stake firmly in the political center instead.

btw . . .

January 18, 2010

BTW: here’s a  pic of the President holding up a hoodie from the school that I attended back in the day.  Local youths and my fellow alum are loving it.  Small world . . . .



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