Showing posts with label President Obama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label President Obama. Show all posts

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Town Hall Frustrations

My initial thoughts on the president's town hall on gun violence are ones of frustration. While I am pleased that the issue is getting more attention and it appears that it's going to be a center piece to the 2016 presidential campaign, there are two core points that are not being addressed.

The first is illustrated in Taya Kyle's portion of this video. As Chris Mooney noted in his book "The Republican Brain," people let emotion drive their reasoning process and this was never more true than with the gun issue. I was hoping that Ms. Kyle would have learned the lesson that her husband and Nancy Lanza did not learn and that is that the gun culture creates a myopia. Neither Mr. Kyle nor Ms. Lanza used reason in their judgement regarding gun safety and allowed mentally ill people to operate firearms. The ideology of the gun rights activist (one devoid of reason and more rooted in paranoia and chest thumping emotion) is a chief cause of mass shootings and gun violence in this country.

Instead, Ms. Kyle spoke of needing a gun for protection and spoke of the hope of declining gun violence. The former is, of course, ridiculous as has been proven time and again by study after study. If you own a gun, you are more likely to kill/injure yourself or a loved one than protect yourself or a loved one. Believing the latter is, again, an emotional response driven by some sort of need for empowerment. The latter I found to be incredibly insulting to the families of the now weekly victims of mass shooting. How can anyone say it's getting better? This is especially befuddling behavior of someone who lost their own loved one to the myopia of gun rights ideology.

I think the president knows this because he's obviously an intelligent man. I get that saying something like this would be a bad PR move but it is the truth and we have to face the fact that this ideology is a threat to our national security.

My second frustration is that the NRA and other gun rights supporters are essentially getting what they want here: enforcement of current laws. Despite their faux protestations, they have successfully shifted the argument so far to the right, that "compromise" is something they've actually supported for years. They've been employing a political tactic that needs to be countered immediately.

Instead of allowing them to set the table with talk of totalitarian governments and dystopic futures (see: appeal to fear), gun safety advocates like the president should be talking about mandatory, minimum training, liability insurance, registration, and even altering the 2nd amendment so that only people who want to devote a considerable portion of their lives to community protection own firearms. These things may seem like a pipe dream now but gun safety advocates need to cease starting from a point of capitulation.

It's clear that the gun issue is going to have ongoing prevalence. I only wish that it wasn't due to the regularity of gun violence and our inability to accept what we need to do to solve the problem.

Here is the full town hall...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Populist President

My first reaction to the speech tonight was this...who won the election again last November? :)

Obviously, the president and the Democrats know that they stole the honeymoon from the Republicans and are sitting pretty right now. The president realizes that there is a missing story from last year's election and so they are going to shift left and pull the country with them. He's got the poll numbers now (and Congress sure as shit does not) to throw his weight around a little more and you could really tell from his body language tonight as well as his speech. Barack Obama is finally at a point where he has absolutely nothing to lose and, man oh man, did the Republicans look uptight and grumpy about it all night during the speech.

A few highlights...

America, for all that we’ve endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this: The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.

Yes it a large part, thanks to him which is why conservatives hate him so much. He has been successful.

We believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world. And today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record. Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high. And more Americans finish college than ever before.

So much for "Department of Our Collapsing Schools"

So the verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don't get in the way. We can't slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns. We can't put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we've got a system to fix. And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, it will earn my veto.

Yes, the verdict is clear. Conservative economic ideology has failed. Time to leave it behind forever.

21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure -- modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet. Democrats and Republicans used to agree on this. So let's set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline. Let's pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than thirty times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come.

I think the Keystone Pipeline is a great metaphor for Republican policies...rigid and out of step with a dynamic world.

I've heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they're not scientists; that we don't have enough information to act. Well, I'm not a scientist, either. But you know what -- I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we'll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.

We should also not act like little insecure babies who don't like it when there are other people out there who are smarter and more accomplished than we are. Having more intelligence than someone shouldn't be a prerequisite for attacks from paranoid morons living in their parents basement.

Of course, the main takeaway from this speech is going to be the middle class tax cuts paid for by tax increases on the wealthy. Clearly, that's when GOP members in the audience lost a little in their shorts. How dare President Uppity try to take back the middle class white vote?

It's going to be a fun two years, folks!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Whither Syria...

President Obama has some tough choices to consider over the next few days as he considers whether or not Syria has crossed the red line of chemical weapons use. Assuming they have used them on the rebels (and that's a big "if," at this point), is it really our business to get involved in another country's civil war? The Assad regime is terrible for its people and awful for the world. They are a state sponsor of violent extremism and have a penchant for targeting Israel, one of our closest allies in the world. So, there's no doubt we'd all be better off if he was gone.

But what would be put in his place? We've seen that slippery slope with the Arab Spring in Egypt. The rebels that are fighting in Syria right now are jihadi extremists who very well could impose a theocracy complete with Sharia law in place of the Assad government. Clearly, this would be worse and likely destabilizing to the region. Israel would be at even greater risk. We also have to consider Russia's stake in all of this as they are a staunch ally of Syria.

If I were the president, I would tread cautiously and, if it is confirmed that chemical weapons were used, any action that is taken should be done so with a broad consensus starting with the Arab League. While this decision is being made, we need solid intelligence on what the Syrian rebels plan to do if they assume power. Are they going to be part of the world community and participate in open elections and democracy? Or will they be worse than Bashar Assad?

Friday, April 19, 2013

His Finest Hour

Everyone keeps talking about how the defeat of the Manchin-Toomey gun bill is the greatest loss the president has experienced and how awful it is. I disagree. In fact, I think it has been his finest hour. Watch his entire speech below from yesterday.

I don't think I have ever been prouder of the man. People are going to remember these words and, when juxtaposed with the 46 Senators that voted against Manchin-Toomey, the American people are going to remember the contrast.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

What Are You Going To Do?

For those of you who are against any changes in current gun laws, I'd urge you to pay close to attention to the woman who introduces the president in this video. Her name is Nicole Hockley and she is the mother of one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Take a good look at her face as she introduces the president. This is a woman with very deep sadness that is going to be with her for the rest of her life. Do you really want to be the person that tells her that we can't change the gun laws in this country because of some paranoid fantasy you are having?

She is not going to stop. She will never give up. That's what mothers do who lose their children. It's what fathers do as well. They are not going to go away unless you compromise on background checks and gun trafficking. Worse, if there is another shooting and nothing significant has changed, the number of people that support families like the Hockelys will mushroom and stand to lose significantly more than what your ginned up fears created by paid clowns have created.

With this speech, it's also time to stop looking at the president as having some sort of secret agenda to disarm the country. That's a giant load of paranoid bullshit that is not going to happen. I realize this will likely fall on bubble ears but he's simply trying to prevent more criminals from acquiring guns. You, on the other hand, are doing the opposite.

So, it's time for your come to Jesus moment. What are you going to do?

Saturday, April 06, 2013

File Under: Who the FUCK Cares?

If there is one thing that really drives me nuts about liberals, it's their PC bullshit. I haven't had to put up with much of it of late because my various circles are all very laid back. Occasionally, though,  if I'm over at the U for some reason, I'll make a comment about porn and the people there will be up my ass with a tweezers in less than a second.

"Don't you know that porn subjugates women?" they ask.

"Considering that women are the primary owners now of the porn industry, I'd say that's incorrect," I reply. I then add in examples from all the women I know that love porn and then the mouth foaming really begins. Fortunately, this is really the most I have to deal with it and that suits me just fine....that is, until, last week.

What a giant pile of horse manure. More importantly, who the FUCK cares? He called one of his long time friends good looking. Well, guess what? She is good looking. And so is he. In fact, she's fucking hot!! How's that, jack wagons? She is a fantastic ass and is very shagable, to channel my inner Austin Powers. But I guess we aren't allowed to say or even think such things because that leads to the raping and subjugation of women.

Who are these "critics" that forced him to apologize? If anyone knows, I'd appreciate a link so I can give them a piece of my mind. The extent to which things get exaggerated in this country boggles my mind. I thought we had come out of our repression about sex and were a much more open society where you can say things like, "Hey, she's a dime!"

More importantly, given all the misery in the world, don't we need all the compliments and positivity we can get?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SOTU Bite Size Chunks (Part Two)

This one really struck me.

After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again. 

Say what? Apple is making Macs in America again? Yes, it is true. That is very good news!

SOTU Bite Size Chunks (Part One)

I'm going to be taking the SOTU speech in smaller chunks throughout the day and focusing in on particular passages. First up, is this one...

On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.

Wow. That's certainly going to piss off a lot of Democrats. And it's way past time that he did this!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Good Words

I'm not much for presidential inaugurations. They bore me, quiet frankly. I find them to be about as exciting as such things as the Macy's Day parade hence the dearth of comments about yesterday's pomp and (snooze) circumstance.

I did enjoy the president's speech, though, and it's going to be interesting to look back and see if he accomplishes what he has set out to do. I found this quote from my local paper to be a perfect summation.

Simply amazing: an inaugural address that referred to Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall. Justice Sotomayor swearing in the vice president. A gay inaugural poet. The beautiful first family. All these images and more paint the picture of America today, and where it's moving-the path to progress.

Progress, indeed. I talked about this yesterday in reference to Dr. King but we really have come a long way.

And we should be proud.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Ah, It Was HIS Waterloo

Jim DeMint to resign to head Heritage Foundation

The most telling quote from the piece?

The mistake the GOP made over the past four years, DeMint told reporters, was focusing too much on what the party was against rather than putting forth “bold ideas to get people inspired and behind us.” 

Right. I wonder if any of the commenters over at The Smallest Minority will take this quote to heart regarding yours truly:)

With this resignation, the age of the "Angry White Man" has now officially concluded.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Doing His Part

I take solace in the fact that if the president wins re-election in November, he will have done a major favor to this market in our economy. See? He is adding jobs:)

Remember when they all rushed out to buy guns before he took office the first time?

Fool me once...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Up In The Polls

President Obama seems to be holding on strong to his convention bounce. Take a look at some of these polls from Fox News in the swing states.

  • Ohio: Obama 49, Romney 42
  • Florida: Obama 49, Romney 44
  • Virginia: Obama 50, Romney 46

That's not the only good news for the Democrats. A recent slew of Senate polls show them up in several states which makes their chances for holding the Senate much better. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The President Gets A Boost

Now that the conventions are over, it's time to take an assessment of the race thus far.

Mitt Romney didn't get any bounce from the GOP convention. Maybe that's because no one can remember what he said but they do remember Clint Eastwood and the empty chair. I also seem to be the only one questioning how wise ti was to hold the convention the week BEFORE Labor Day. No one in America was paying attention.

The Democrats, however, put on a much more polished and effective convention and, as a result, the president got a decent bounce (and no, I'm not talking about pizzeria owner Scott Van Duzer (left) who lifted the president off the ground at a recent campaign stop). Take a look at the latest polls to the right of this post over at  If the election were held today, the president would win 347-191.

Take a look at the president'a approval ratings.  When Rasmussen has you at 50-45, that's a real bounce. Gallup had him at 52-42 over the weekend but there is something wrong with their methodology. For the truly wonky, Nate Silver's 538 blog on is great. The propeller on his head is larger than all the rest and for the latest on the state of the race, his site is a must.

Now, the question is will this bounce last? Most people think no but let's see what happens next week.

Both campaigns have now admitted that it's come down to nine states. They are: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The Romney campaign has all but given up on Michigan and Pennsylvania. With the president outraising Governor Romney in August $114 to $112 million, they have to spend their money wisely. Privately, the GOP are admitting that the president has the advantage at present. 

If you take these nine states out of Andy's number above, that puts the numbers at 237-191. Essentially, the president has to get 33 EVs and he wins. Governor Romney has to get 79. Obviously, it's an uphill task for Mr. Romney and we've already seen him pivot (out of political necessity) to the middle slightly yesterday with his statements on keeping parts of the Affordable Care Act...the popular parts, of course. Folks like Mr Van Duzer are registered Republicans but they are voting for the president because the GOP has moved too far to the right.

Further, Mr. Romney is going to have to get more detailed about exactly what his plan is for the economy. The remaining undecideds aren't going to respond well to bloviating straw men arguments about socialism, Kenyans, and anti-colonial rage. Mr. Romney now says (yesterday on Meet The Press) he is not going to cut taxes for the wealthy and will remove some of their loopholes. Great. Which ones? And isn't that now the same thing the president is saying?

I'd like to see a plan for exactly how Governor Romney is going to stimulate demand. If not from the government, then from where? Since he has said, "We can't cut our way to growth" how do we get to growth? Recall, his tax plan was completely blown apart by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center for being vague and leaving several key points blank. He's going to have to fill in those blanks in the next two months or he has no chance at all. Why?

Because he's maxed out the part of his supporters that aren't so much supporting him but voting against the president. The only people left are the ones who need to be convinced to vote FOR Governor Romney and not against the president. In addition to getting specific about what he's going to do, he has the debates to possibly turn it around.

Can he?

Friday, September 07, 2012

Subdued, Not Soaring

After three days of ridiculously awesome speeches, President Obama took the stage and delivered a good speech. Compared to his previous speeches, it was just alright. After all, he did set the bar fairly high on convention speeches in 2004 so it's understandable, given current circumstances, that it wasn't the level of stellar that we normally expect from him.

It's those circumstances that I believe drove him to give a more subdued speech than he could have given. The economy is sluggish and there are many people that are still unemployed. Does the country really need to hear soaring rhetoric right now? (btw, I'm sick of that word..."soaring"....far too overused...barf). The other speakers handled that job quite well.

The president did hit some notes that I thought were great. "This election wasn't about me. It was about you" was the line of the night and very illustrative of what his presidency has been like for the last four years and what it will be like should he be re-elected. The Right has a real hard time understanding this which I find amusing.

His comments on foreign policy clearly show his complete command of that arena and Mitt Romney's gargantuan naivete. How times have changed....:)

The most poignant line of the night, however, was this one.

While I'm proud of what we've achieved together, I'm far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, 'I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.

Presidents can generally be divided into two categories: those that are alright and those that are awful. There is no such thing as a great president, really, if you think about it. By the time a problem gets to the president's desk, it's usually so FUBAR that whatever choice he makes is going to be bad for some people. That's what Lincoln meant when he spoke those words and Barack Obama, being the president, understands those words far better than Mitt Romney does right now.

In looking at both conventions, the Democrats clearly did a better job. They simply made better choices with speakers and timing. If you think I'm biased, does anyone remember what Mitt Romney said? Or do they remember Clint Eastwood and the empty chair?

Now, it's on to the debates and the general election!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Oh, Snap...

Perhaps he was deprogrammed from The Cult...

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Shouldn't Romney Be Ahead By Now?

The question above is the exact question that Roger Simon asks in a new post over at Politco. 

But what do the Great Gods of Politics, the opinion polls, show? They show a country that still likes Obama more than it likes Romney. And by quite a bit. As I have written for years, I have a simple — OK, simple-minded — way of determining who is going to win the presidency: The more likable candidate wins. Not always, but almost always. On Aug. 2, a survey published by the well-respected Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found Obama was leading Romney by 51-41 percent for the presidency, the eighth time in a row since January that Obama has led Romney by between 4 and 12 percentage points.

But more importantly by my Simple Simon standard of likability, Romney’s favorable/unfavorable rating was 37/52 compared with Obama’s 50/45. Which means Romney had a net unfavorable rating of 15 points while Obama had a net favorable of 5 points. 

Very true and nicely illustrated at our year end tennis party this summer. Two of my co-workers, both of whom voted for John McCain in 2008 (and one who is my supervisor and life long Republican), were completely confounded by Romney's statements on his recent trip abroad.

"That was just rude...what he said about London," my supervisor remarked. "What was he thinking? You don't do that. And he wants to be president?"

"Yeah," my other co-worker said, "Obama is going to wipe the floor with him in the debates. Romney's a complete idiot and I don't really like him. I am voting for Obama."

"I may actually as well," my supervisor said. "He's not as bad as everyone makes him out to be. He's done a good job. I like him."

The conversation completely torpedoed the notion that your average Joe doesn't pay attention to politics until after Labor Day. People are paying attention to what Romney is doing and they don't really like what they see. Will they ever?

Oh, and why is John McCain, who has seen all 23 years of Romney's tax returns, not calling Harry Reid  a "dirty liar?" I wonder why he hasn't really said much on the subject.