Lame Duck Session

Celebration Of Two Years Of Barack Obama: Public Opinion Ratings Soar! :)

Today marks two years of the Obama Presidency, and an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll shows his rating with the public has soared from 45 to 53 percent in the past month, the highest it has been since July 2009! πŸ™‚

Why has this happened? Apparently, his handling of the Lame Duck Session, demonstrating willingness to work with the opposition Republicans, is a major factor.

Also, his handling of the Tucson tragedy was overwhelmingly popular, as he showed empathy and ability to speak to the country in a soothing manner in the midst of a major crisis and depressing moment for the nation.

Also, there is growing optimism long term and short term about the economy, and Obama comes across as a reasonable person, rather than as an extremist, as so many Republicans present themselves.

The pressure is not on the President, as many thought after the midterm losses in Congress, but rather with the Republicans to show reasonableness and desire to work with the President for the good of the country.

But don’t hold your breath on such cooperation, as every evidence is just the opposite.

Speaker John Boehner failed to attend the State Dinner for the Chinese President, something totally inappropriate, considering that Boehner is second in line for the Presidency, and yet has no interest in interacting with the leader of the second largest economy.

Almost no Republicans attended the State Dinner, with the major exception of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who seemed somewhat embarrassed, when asked about it, that he was the rare Republican to be at the banquet.

The Republican party, with the battle beginning among probably more than a dozen individuals to be the GOP nominee for President in 2012, and with their ties to the Right Wing talk show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity, among others, gives the advantage clearly to the camp of Barack Obama! πŸ™‚

Congratulations, President Obama, on an outstanding first two years of your administration, and the growing likelihood that you will have the great advantage for a second term as President, because of your accomplishments and principles, and the growing image of the GOP as out of step with the American people, as evidenced by the Health Care repeal vote yesterday in the House of Representatives!

Moderate Centrist Republicans In Senate May Be Crucial Voting Bloc!

It used to be that Senator John McCain of Arizona was considered a moderate, centrist Republican, but no more.

But now, there are a group of moderate, centrist Republicans who look prepared to cross party lines and sometimes back the Obama Administration, although as the year 2011 develops, we will see just how often they will be willing to do so.

With the rise of the Tea Party activists, such a decision will require courage and statesmanship, so it will be one of the most interesting political signs to watch in 2011.

Among the centrist moderates would be the following:

1. Olympia Snowe of Maine, who is likely to face a Tea Party challenger in the primary in 2012.
2. Susan Collins of Maine, who has often seemed willing to cooperate, although she tends to “drive a hard bargain” for her vote.
3. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who despite his win with early Tea Party backing in January, now seems to be moving toward the center in liberal Massachusetts, but will almost certainly face a Tea Party challenger in the primary in 2012.
4. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who has become liberated by her independent win over Joe Miller, and voted for every part of the Obama agenda during the recent Lame Duck session of Congress, and has made clear she will defy the rightward trend in her party.
5. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the most respected Republican in the Senate, usually conservative, but still with an independent streak, who faces a likely Tea Party challenge in 2012.
6. Mark Kirk of Illinois, newly elected, but already showing signs of independence, as he was defined as a moderate Republican in his years in the House of Representatives.
7. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who has shown signs of moderation in his four years in the Senate, and may face Tea Party opposition in the primary in 2012.
8. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who is moderate sounding sometimes, although he seems to work at having a right wing image at times, as well.

Along with Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, this bloc of Senators will play a likely historic role in dealing with the many domestic crises and foreign policy controversies facing the nation over the next two years!

An Amazing, Historic Day: Triple Victory And Culmination Of Brilliant Lame Duck Session, One Of Greatest Performing In American History! :)

December 22, 2010, will go down in history as an extremely rare day in American history, as THREE major accomplishments came to fruition in just a few hours! πŸ™‚

The signing of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for the military in a morning ceremony was a great civil rights victory, the greatest since 1965.

The ratification of the START Treaty with Russia was President Obama’s greatest foreign policy accomplishment in office, and won 13 Senate Republican supporters, winning 71-26 in the afternoon. This was an important step forward in gaining Russian support for dealing with the growing threat presented by Iran.

And then, in an ultimate vote of conscience, the Congress gave justice to September 11 First Responders by passing medical care legislation for those heroes who worked so hard under difficult conditions after the tragic attack on the World Trade Center.

This day just culminates a fantastic Lame Duck Session, in which unemployment compensation extension was accomplished, along with continuation of tax cuts that already existed (but unfortunately with continued tax cuts to the top two percent, which will add nearly a trillion to the national debt, but a necessary compromise under the circumstances), and a food safety bill which gives the Food and Drug Administration more authority over the subject than at any time since 1938 under the New Deal.

The only major failure and loss was the DREAM Act, which Obama made clear, at a triumphant, confident, press conference, was still a major goal to be accomplished in the 112th Congress, which seems doubtful.

But Obama certainly revived from the major defeat in the midterm elections just six weeks ago, and is seen as having made a “comeback”, which means no one should underestimate his ability to get things done, and to accomplish his goals, because as he said, when he feels strongly about some issue, he is “persistent”!

So we should all congratulate Obama and his party for having done what seemed to be the impossible–REAL accomplishments in a Lame Duck session, which many Republicans thought was a useless waste of time! HOW WRONG THEY WERE !