House in heated stimulus debate – Jan. 28, 2009.
Despite President Obama’s attempt to bring some level of bipartisanship to the economic stimulus bill, the House Republicans held the party line and to a Representative, voted against it, bringing eleven Democrats along for the ride. While concerns about the staggering amount of spending are warranted, the GOP’s insistence on major tax cuts just shows how out of touch they are regarding the state of our economy. Business is not not going to get jump-started by reducing taxes; rather, an infusion of capital in the form of government grants and bank loans are what’s needed.
In the meantime, thanks to the Bush Administration’s wasteful spending of our tax dollars on an illegal war has redirected resources toward the critical needs of our infrastructure. Without an investment in those key areas, our very national security is at stake. Why not use the money we give to Washington to embark on those shovel-ready projects while at the same time employing those that suddenly find themselves on the unemployment lines? Seems it worked pretty well for a guy named Franklin Delano Roosevelt, another Democrat who followed a failed Republican Administration.
Welcome to the New Deal 2.0 – and let’s wish all of us the same success the first one brought us. Without that FDR’s bold approach, we’d be a much weaker nation even today.
Washington Times – Clinton takes control at State Dept..
I admit I wasn’t thrilled with Hillary Clinton, the Presidential candidate and frankly, I was a little concerned about her taking such a prominent role in the Obama administration as I envision her strong personality conflicting with the President’s approach to foreign policy. I must say, however, that I was impressed by the reception she received at the State Department and her rousing speech to her staff. Let’s hope she can take back what was ours eight years ago – respect for America around the world.
Obama’s first 100 days – Jan. 20, 2009.
The challenges that the Obama Administration are facing are daunting enough, but the additional pressure of making significant progress in his first 100 days is probably something the new President really didn’t need. However, this is the hand he was dealt, so all we can do is to wish him and his team well and do our part when called upon to help.
Preface: I don’t always agree with Joe, but I’m always impressed with the logic of his arguments and the strength of his convictions. While some commentators and bloggers are focused on shock or blatant antagonism, I know that Joe’s heart is in the right place even where I believe he wrong. In this case, I couldn’t agree with him more.
Clearly, a loyal opposition is necessary for a democracy to thrive and if more of them were honest as Joe has been here, perhaps there is some hope that the strident partisanship indulged in by members of both parties will be quelled by a newer way of thinking – a way for us to collaborate as one people without abandoning our convictions.
Excellent article, Joe.
More on Obama’s Inauguration
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
I’ve been amazed and inspired by so many scenes of hope and joy as our forty-fourth President was sworn into office today. Barack Obama has been given an awesome responsibility and a daunting task, that much is certain. However, the American people have been equally tasked with the same burden. As our President goes, the nation goes – and we can choose to wait and see how the new Administration addresses the challenges before us or we can make changes in our own lives that are both meaningful and measurable. Clearly, the new man in the White House cannot lead us out of our current troubles alone. For us to write the new chapter in our American saga, it will take the collective will and sacrifices of all of us. We want our narrative to have a happy ending . . . a story arc that’s on the upswing after so much time spent in the depths of frustration and anger.
How you can help is up to you. You know what needs to be done in your own lives, in your own communities. Don’t disconnect from the political process or the operations of our local, state and federal governments’ affairs. We are blessed with a powerful tool for communicating with each other and drawing all of us together. Use the Internet to spread the message of strength and service. Call upon your elected officials to do the right thing, not the expedient thing or the politically tolerable thing. Be a full-fledged citizen and not just a casual observer. Our collective strength is in our unified voice and spirit.
Welcome to your new and improved country, America.
With all that soon-to-be-President Barack Obama will have on his plate on day one of his administration, some may question the wisdom of taking on the task of investigating potential crimes committed by the Bush White House and prosecuting them in full witness of the American people and the rest of the world.
A reasonable person can see both sides of the argument. The country has long been divided by a President who has redefined the word and are exhausted by the rancor that has infused every aspect of lives – so why put us through many months or even years of further discord? At the same time, it would send a bad signal to our allies and citizens alike to not directly address those blatant acts of defiance against the very Constitution we hold sacred.
What are the crimes to which the Bush regime should answer? State-sponsored torture of armed combatants, for one, and in violation of international prohibitions against such behavior. Illegal wire-tapping is yet another crime committed under the guise of national security and one that needs to be investigated and determined if it is actionable. And who can forget the purposeful outing of a CIA operative as a political chastisement of her straight-talking spouse?
The list of overt dismissals of the rule of law goes beyond those allegedly done to protect us from terrorist action. The firing of federal judges for not towing the neocon party line are equally damning. And if malfeasance is a crime, then the entire Hurricane Katrina debacle will yet be another offense that can added to the indictments. The list goes on and on.
Barack Obama will have some difficult decisions to make over the next one hundred days, all of which will be designed to move this country forward out of our current economic and international crises. Perhaps the most difficult one of all will not be whether to bring the chickens home to roost, but how best to put them in the coop.
I admit, I was on the fence about Barack Obama prior to the Democratic National Convention. Besides the fact that I’m an independent, I find myself in middle age socially liberal and fiscally conservative, so the Democratic platform dissuaded me from fully being on board just from the “tax and spend” ways of their liberal agenda. I had been a “fan” of John McCain when he ran for office last time, but I was disturbed by his cozying up to a man I knew he despised, George W. Bush. It was when Sarah Palin got on the Republican ticket that I took a closer look at what Obama was all about and started seeing the man and his mission for what they were: a genuine desire to right this country after eight years of mismanagement.
Now that the neocons are finally leaving the White House, I look around to see if my fellow Americans are doing the right thing and getting behind our new president. By and large, Obama has a huge number of our citizens in solid support of him and wish him well and Godspeed. What I find amazing is there is any portion of the country that actually wishes he would fail, as evidenced by so many bloggers’ vociferous condemnation of virtually everything the man has proposed – from his cabinet choices to his plan to fix the economy to his desire to burnish America’s reputation among our longest held allies.
Here’s what I have to say to all those that wish Obama ill will – if you want our new president to fail, you want our country to fail. And if you want our country to fail, you should find another one that will tolerate your displaced hatred. Put aside your blind idealogical loyalties, set aside your petty bigotry and dismissive attitude and unite behind our country’s next leader. If you insist on remaining stuck in your neocon mire, then the collective “we” have no need for you. Really.