Day: January 26, 2010

Bill O’Reilly’s Sense Of Humor: Sick And Despicable!

Fox News Channel talk show host Bill O’Reilly has a sick sense of humor, and that is being charitable!

O’Reilly has suggested that it might be a good idea to “kidnap” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

He also joked that maybe it would be good to “waterboard” Nancy Pelosi, making light of this horrible torture tactic utiilized by the Bush Administration, and still endorsed by conservative talk show hosts and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

O’Reilly is not being funny in reality; he is being outrageous and obscene, and needs to cease and desist in such rhetoric. But then again, has any conservative talk show host,or spokesperson, including O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, etc EVER apologized or changed their behavior? NO, as their purpose is to divide, promote hate and dissension, and enrich themselves while manipulating their gullible audiences! 🙁

The Stimulus Bill: The Truth Be Told!

A year after the economic stimulus bill, we are hearing lies from the opposition that nothing has been accomplished by the Obama Administration.

Nothing could be further from the truth. A lot of the stimulus is scheduled to occur this year and next, as no recovery plan can be expected to work immediately. There is always a time delay between what government legislates and the actual delivery of the services.

Having said that, what has the stimulus accomplished so far?
1. It has saved thousands of public jobs, affecting communities all over the country. This includes teachers, fire fighters and police officers. Many states, counties and city governments have benefited.

2. It has met the needs of many poor and disabled people on Medicaid. It has improved their quality of life.

3. It has set up over 11,500 transportation projects across the country, shovel ready and employing people.

4. 95 percent of the population received a tax cut, which is giving many people a lower tax bill in April if they had proper withholding.

Of course, there is a need to do much more, to say the least. But to claim that nothing has been accomplished and that the whole concept of economic stimulus was a waste of public dollars is a total lie, promoted by conservatives and Republicans who have no interest in helping right the economy, but rather just to obstruct and prevent success for political reasons!

The Tea Party Convention And Sarah Palin: A Sham!

The Tea Party Convention, scheduled for Nashville, Tennessee, in February, is designed to unify those Americans who are disgusted with the two party system, the Congress, the President, big government, and health care reform.

But this movement is already showing itself to be a sham, as they have decided to charge any participant an entrance fee of $549–a tremendous amount for a populist movement which claims to speak for and represent the “average” American who is disgusted with their government.

Not only that, but Sarah Palin has become the big name draw for the convention, and seems to have a lot of support from the organizers of the Tea Party Movement. But she has demanded a speaking fee of $100,000 to appear, which is absolutely astounding if she claims to be a supporter of the “common” people!

It seems, rather, that everything Sarah Palin does is simply to enrich her own pockets, because she knows she is quite a draw! She is actually, clearly, exploiting her celebrity to her own advantage, and it makes one wonder whether the Tea Party activists who are not in leadership of the group might not reconsider whether this movement, with its high entrance fee to participate, and its insistence on paying such a high speaking fee to Sarah Palin, really is a sham, rather than a principled movement!

Obama’s Target Groups To Work On For Support: Independents, Senior Citizens, Suburbanites

Recent polls make it clear that Barack Obama has three major target groups he will need to work on, as they are becoming more disillusioned with him, when compared to their support for him in 2008.

These groups are Independents, senior citizens, and suburbanites. Independents are unhappy that the Congress has been unable to accomplish very much, while seniors worry about how their health care might be affected by a national health care reform, and suburbanites are suffering through heavy job losses and foreclosures.

Ironically, many people in these target groups seem to think a Republican Congress working with Obama would be better, comparing it to cooperation at times that developed between Bill Clinton and the GOP Congress after 1994. Actually, this concept of divided government as better really is not to be preferred, as much more than not, it causes fireworks and gridlock. The memory of the American people about a split government being preferred is based on false premises and a clouded image of reality! The same Congress that at times worked with Bill Clinton also impeached him and caused tremendous fireworks that impeded the ability to deal with many problems of the 1990s.

The way to regain support of these target groups for the President is to have the Congress accomplish the goal of health care reform, and aggressively bring about a jobs program and a foreclosure initiative that makes average Americans feel that their government is concerned about them, not just Wall Street and the banks!

New Poll On Who Is To Blame For Stalemate In Government: The Republicans In Congress!

A new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll assesses who is responsible for lack of progress on legislation during the Great Recession we are in, including health care reform and economic revival.

A surprise to some, I suppose, is that the Republicans in Congress are assigned the greatest blame (48 percent), followed by the Democrats in Congress (41 percent) and President Obama (27 percent).

71 percent feel Obama cannot be blamed and his public opinion rating remains positive at 50 percent, with an unfavorability rating of 44 percent.

So despite the Republican victories in New Jersey and Virginia in November and in Massachusetts last week, Obama still retains a reservoir of good will, and remains personally popular, as most Americans like him on a personal level and do not blame him for the lack of action by the government this past year.

So the news today that the Democrats in Congress seem ready to scale back the health care reform is disturbing, as the lack of action by the Democrats is seen as more likely to cause a backlash by Democrats who might very well stay home on Election Day in November because of their feeling that the Democrats promise and then don’t carry through.

As Barack Obama has said, although many Americans are afraid of the health care bill’s complexity, the belief is once it would pass, the majority would realize it was all for the good, and the Democrats would be in better shape for public support than if they sit on their hands and kill the legislation.

So with this new poll evidence, it is essential that President Obama come out fighting during the State of the Union speech for what he believes in, and show the courage of his convictions. He can offer a bridge to the recalcitrant Republicans, but make it clear he will not tolerate their obstructionism, and will do what must be done to make life better for the American people!

The Wrong Public Perception Of Barack Obama

A new poll indicates a deficit of 65 points in the view of Barack Obama after one year in office, when comparing Democrats (88 percent support) and Republicans (23 percent support). This is an all time high for any modern President, more than for Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.

Another poll shows that two thirds of the American people feel that Obama has given too much attention to the banks and Wall Street as compared to the one third who feel that the middle class has been given proper attention.

So if you go by these polls and the perception that is created, Barack Obama after one year is more polarizing than Bill Clinton or George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan ever was. But this is based on a wrong public perception and ignorance on the part of the American people.

What they don’t understand is that if Obama had not given attention to the banks and Wall Street, as unpopular as that might be, we would be in a Great Depression Number 2 instead of a Great Recession. Few seem to appreciate what that means, but if we had done nothing as a nation to help the elite, then the effect on us, the masses, would have been far worse.

None of the Presidents mentioned above, and none really since Franklin D. Roosevelt, have faced an economic crisis quite on the level of Barack Obama. He IS trying to deal with the middle class problems, as well as the poor, but the basic foundation of the economy must first be dealt with before anything done for the masses will work.

A better job of educating the American people is needed, and also, the gap in the two political parties’ feelings about any President needs to move beyond partisanship, as there is no excuse for such a small percentage of Republicans being supportive. What about the idea of patriotism and willingness to sacrifice an element of partisanship to back the President, whoever he is, in facing hard times, but unfortunately, the GOP today is willing to just play politics rather than do what is right for the American people! It is not flattering to have an opposition party so unwilling to do their part to promote economic recovery and what is important for the middle class.

We are involved in a war on the economic recession, and it should promote support as much as the fact that we are involved in a war against terrorism!

Senator Charles Mathias, Liberal Republican Giant, Dies

One of the greatest of Republican Senators in the 1970s and 1980s, Senator Charles Mathias of Maryland, passed away yesterday, leaving behind a legacy of great contributions!

Mathias, a liberal Republican when there were many outstanding such individuals in the Republican party, served in the Senate from 1969-1987 after eight years in the House of Representatives. He was one of a band of liberals, including Charles Percy of Massachusetts, Mark Hatfield of Oregon, Lowell Weicker of Connecticut, Jacob Javits of New York, Clifford Case of New Jersey, and Edward Brooke of Massachusetts who were major contributors to American politics and were willing to cross the political aisle and promote major reforms.

Mathias promoted progressive ideals including racial reconciliation, campaign finance reform, opposition to the war in Vietnam, promotion of the Equal Rights Amendment, advocacy of environmental reforms, and prohibition of warrantless wiretaps to preserve the guarantees of the Bill of Rights. He opposed President Nixon on many issues, condemned his involvement in the Watergate scandal, and distanced himself from President Reagan in the 1980 Presidential election.

Mathias was above all a man of principle and great courage, and the fact that he was a leader of the fight for limiting the influence of money in politics is ironic just as the Supreme Court has destroyed a century of campaign finance reform, including the McCain-Feingold legislation of this past decade, in its destructive decision of a week ago. Are we to go backwards and turn people off to voting, or to go forward toward responsible campaign finance control? This is the legacy that Charles Mathias leaves us, to fight for what he believed in and what anyone who believes in fairness would want: No corporate control over political campaigns!

Confusing And Mixed Messages From President Obama

President Obama seems very confused since the victory of Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race last week, and he is sending mixed messages.

First, he goes out and speaks before public audiences, stating that he will “fight” for us, and will do so till his “last breath” and will “not rest” in doing what must be done for the American people.

Then his spokesmen on Sunday talk shows–Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, and Robert Gibbs–make it seem that he will continue to push his agenda, while admitting things will be more difficult to achieve with the recent Massachusetts election results.

Then, he tells Diane Sawyer on ABC that he would rather be a one term successful President than a two term mediocre President, which adds to the idea that he will fight for his programs, including health care reform. One thing is clear: The New York Times calls on him today in an editorial to continue to fight for a substantial health reform bill as something that cannot be abandoned after so much progress and commitment, the same as the author feels. But yet, one can wonder if the President will bend to the Massachusetts election results and back away from the fight for health care reform.

Now, the news comes out that he wants to cut domestic spending on education, nutrition, air traffic control, national parks and farm subsidies among others to a freeze level, which means behind inflation, over the next three budget years. This “freeze” would only affect the budget by three percent of the added national debt expected, about $250 million out of $9 billion!

The cuts would not affect military, homeland security, veterans, social security, medicare, medicaid, and Obama plans to ask for more money for such programs as child care, student loans, and retirement savings in his State of the Union address tomorrow night.

It is meant to be a gesture, it seems, to conservatives, Republicans and independents who complain about the budget deficit, but it really does little to deal with that issue, and is more just a political act that will not fool anyone, and may be subject to ridicule.

What it comes down to is that the budget deficit is going to grow no matter what is cut, as it is simply a political issue for both sides of the political equation, and no one is willing to do anything really tough in the midst of an economic recession and threats to national security.

But the fact that Obama said to Diane Sawyer about having one term of success rather than two terms of mediocrity may make some wonder if he intends to be aggressive in pursuit of his goals that he was elected on, even if it means not having a second term. Or could it be he may decide what seems hard to believe? That is, maybe NOT seek a second term and sacrifice it to fight for accomplishment of his goals? Is that what we will hear at some point in the next year if his party suffers major losses in the midterm elections? Or despite all his rhetoric and of those in his administration, will he instead abandon his goals at the end?

Stay tuned and be careful to analyze his State of the Union address on Wednesday night as I intend to do! 🙂