Day: September 6, 2009

Steven Anderson: A Sick, Deranged, Dangerous Baptist Minister Who Should Be Condemned!

News has just emerged of a clergyman, who is obviously sick, deranged, and dangerous, and should be condemned by all thinking, moral people.

I am referring to Pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona, who has openly been preaching for the death of President Obama. He thinks Obama is a very evil man and deserves death.

Needless to say, this is disgraceful, unacceptable rhetoric, and it amazes me that ANYONE in his congregation or anywhere else, could possibly term this as acceptable freedom of speech. How can a man of God say such things and expect to be respected and keep his dignity? It seems to me that despite his obvious civil liberty to speak, that he should not be kept on as pastor of his church, as it reflects terribly on the church and its members if they see no problem with keeping him as their leader. Any such thought shows real sickness in our society and should be condemned. Also, the Secret Service should keep close tabs on Pastor Anderson as a possible promoter of violence against the President, as freedom of speech should not include death threats against any occupant of the White House.

We are in deep trouble as a nation with clergymen preaching hate and calling for the death of our President, no matter who he might be. This only makes clear the constant danger that our President faces as he tries to deal with a multitude of issues facing the nation. And it has to make one wonder if a lot of this hate is based on race more than anything else, a sad commentary on America in 2009. 🙁

Hints Of Another Supreme Court Retirement For Next Summer

There are sudden hints of a possible retirement by the summer of 2010 of Associate Justice John Paul Stevens from the Supreme Court.

Stevens, appointed by President Gerald Ford in his only appointment to the high court in 1975, will have served on the court for 35 years by then, making him close to the longest serving member ever, but not quite, as at least Associate Justice William O. Douglas served 36 years on the Court. Also, Stevens is already the second oldest Justice ever, but if he leaves next year, will not break the record of Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was 91 when he retired.

So the possibility of breaking both records by 2012 might not be possible after all, but the question is why Stevens would be leaving, since he seems in fine health at age 89. We do not know, but we realize that he is not, for the first time, planning more than one year ahead in appointing law clerks, as he has done regularly in the past.

So President Obama might have an appointment just as the election season gets hot next summer for the midterm election. And to top it off, who can say whether Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg might also leave, by choice or necessity, after having twice had cancer.

Imagine if Obama has TWO appointments soon, likely before the 2012 election, replacing three liberals with hoped for equivalent liberals within one term. There are guaranteed to be battles with the Republicans in the Senate no matter what, but not quite the same as if a conservative were to retire, which is far less likely anytime soon.

A Crucial Week For President Obama

The week of Labor Day and remembrances of September 11 is indeed a crucial week for President Obama.

Not only is he going to engage in a much criticized education speech to the nation’s students, and also attend the Pentagon ceremony on Friday to commemorate September 11’s eighth anniversary, but also his speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night on the health care reform plan will be a turning point for his administration.

It can be said that Obama underestimated the opposition to his health care plan, and its well oiled machine. He also failed to show discipline in planning the bill, leaving too much control to Congress, which has led to a sense of chaos on what exactly the bill is supposed to cover. His earlier insistence on a quick vote only undermined the whole idea and promoted suspicion of his motives.

So in a sense, Obama has to start anew on Wednesday and state CLEARLY what his aims and motives are, and appeal for his party to unify, and for some Republicans to join in on dealing with one of the toughest issues Congress has had to face in many years.

He needs to tell us that a public option is essential, and that he is willing to use whatever techniques and tactics needed to get it through, with the preference for a bipartisan bill and a unified Democratic party, but willingness to use the Democratic majority to his advantage if need be. He has to calm the fears of the elderly, in particular, who seem to believe that Medicare would be under attack.

In other words, he must be a diplomat, but also show willingness to go the distance and play “hardball” if need be, and not worry about alienating some groups, as no President can possibly unite everyone, but the majority should rule and a program NEEDS to be promoted, maybe with some compromise, but not giving up the heart and soul of the legislation.

Those who oppose Obama and want his downfall must not be catered to, and Obama has to be concerned less with being liked and being popular, and more with being successful and respected.

In a sense, he must be a combination of Lyndon Johnson with his aggressiveness, Franklin Roosevelt with his craftiness, and Ronald Reagan with his commitment to principle.

This is indeed not an easy task, and we all need to hope he can accomplish what needs to be done for the nation. If he fails to accomplish his goals, it could be the achilles heel of his Presidency, and that would be terrible for both him and the people of this country.

So those who support his goals must root him on with our willingness to fight for him, and even, a little praying for good to result!

Diane Sawyer Becomes The Second Evening News Female Anchor

The somewhat surprising news that Charlie Gibson will retire at the end of 2009 as the anchor of ABC Evening News after only three years brings us our second female anchor, Diane Sawyer. She and Katy Couric of CBS Evening News will compete with the leader in evening news, Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News.

Diane Sawyer has had an exceptional career with ABC News, and has managed to interview many of the most important newsworthy personalities of the past couple of decades. She deserves the opportunity to anchor, and should do just fine in ratings, probably competing with Brian Williams, just as Good Morning America has done very well with her and Robin Roberts as co anchors.

The interesting possible scenario is who will replace Diane on GMA, and it would seem to me it would be Chris Cuomo, the younger son of former NY Governor Mario Cuomo. And it seems to me that assuming Chris does a good job on GMA, he could very likely be the anchor replacement for Diane Sawyer when in a few years, she is likely to leave.

And that leaves the possible situation of Chris Cuomo as evening news anchor in the future, and possibly, his brother, Andrew Cuomo as possible Governor of New York, and maybe pursuing the Presidency in 2016, an event his brother would possibly be reporting either on GMA or on the Evening News.

What an interesting scenario long term! 🙂

Retirement Initiatives Of President Barack Obama Are Great Step!

One of the biggest problems most Americans face is the crisis presented by failure to prepare for retirement, something that is too often ignored until it is too late, forcing people to continue to work beyond the age they would like to retire from full time work.

President Obama has now taken major administrative moves to assist Americans in pursuing what all must do: plan for retirement.

Among the actions taken are: Employees will be automatically signed up for employer sponsored 401K retirement plans unless they ask not to be so enrolled. Also, tax refunds will now be a possible source of retirement savings for taxpayers. Also, unused vacation time and overtime would be allowed to be contributed to a retirement plan. Finally, an easy to read retirement guide when changing jobs would be offered to all workers by the U S government to educate Americans in planning for retirement.

There is certainly no reason for anyone to criticize the government for trying to encourage attention to retirement planning, as it is a true disaster if someone reaches retirement age and expects to live just on Social Security, which was never meant to be a sole source of retirement income.

President Obama: Please Listen To Vice President Biden On Afghanistan!

In the midst of all the controversy over health care and other Obama Administration initiatives, the background struggle is going on over plans to increase substantially the number of US troops in Afghanistan, in a war which is starting to cause greater American casualties at a time when many NATO nations are planning withdrawal of their forces.

Vice President Joe Biden, an acknowledged expert on foreign policy, and formerly, for many years, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, has privately been spreading the word that Afghanistan is a war that will be going on for years with almost no chance of real success, and one that will eventually be fought primarily alone. Biden sees this as another Vietnam, which cost the country a lot of treasure in men and money, and divided the nation in a way that had not been seen since the Civil War. The cost is astronomical, at a point when the debt issue is a gigantic one, and we are being told that millions of Americans cannot be considered to be protected on health care.

Of course, it is obvious that the opposition Republicans will claim that Obama has “lost” Afghanistan, as they, sixty years ago, charged that President Truman “lost” China. Both charges are of course ridiculous, but if we want to discuss who has “lost” Afghanistan after eight long years of combat, it is George W. Bush, who took his “eye off the ball” from the beginning of the intervention in the Fall of 2001 by his obsession with Saddam Hussein, and the decision to wage a major, disastrous war in Iraq.

Some people complain that Joe Biden talks too much, which he does at times, but on this issue, foreign policy, I call upon President Obama to LISTEN to the man who better understands international affairs than any military man.

Instead of committing blood and treasure for an interminable period of many years, let’s follow George Will’s view that it is time to get out, and use intelligence and aerial bombing, rather than sacrifice the young men and women of the nation in an impossible, hellish country that NO ONE has been able, historically, to take over and control. And let’s also build up our intelligence capability and homeland security instead!