Category Archives: Politics

Mr. Obama aka Mr. Fantastic

Mr Fantastic

I am a Marvel fan, go figure. Iron Man, X-Men, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four… If I had to liken Mr. Obama to any superhero it would be Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic. Mr. Fantastic’s powers include amazing elasticity and superior intellect. In my view Mr. Obama qualifies in both areas and should be deemed a superhero as the first black man to win the presidency twice, and for demonstrating great flexibility in enduring the shenanigans of the Republicans and the Tea Party.

Tonight (Wednesday), Mr. Obama met with select Senate Republicans as a result of Sequestration. Is this Mr. Fantastic’s attempt to quell his foes and disarm them of their bogus arguments that he does not reach across the aisle? This meeting with members of the GOP, hand-picked by Senator Lindsey Graham, is a clever move by Mr. Obama, I mean Mr. Fantastic. Early feedback from GOP members who attended tonight’s dinner with the President are relatively positive. By the way, it is reported that Mr Obama picked up the tab for the dinner out of his own pocket.

Mitch McConnell did not attend the President’s dinner with Republican Senators this evening. Not a surprise. I am convinced that Senator McConnell will never socialize with Mr. Obama, publicly or privately, especially now since he is up for re-election in 2014. Strangely enough, it is being reported that the President’s willingness to compromise has not been effectively communicated to GOP membership from its leadership. Wow! Really? Regardless, I think these Republicans just wanted their egos stroked. I did note that President Obama was not photographed with the Republican Senators who went to dinner. Republicans still can’t be seen as playing nice with Mr. Obama.

I contend that no one can say that Mr. Fantastic has not repeatedly bent over backward and reached, and reached, and stretched, and stretched across the aisle. Not only has the President reached and stretched, but he has even twisted and contorted as it pertains to what spending cuts he has offered. Maybe tonight’s dinner between Mr. Obama and the GOP is a first step toward curbing the impact of the infamous Sequestration. We’ll see.

Tea Party Terrorism?

TPRobert Reich, former Secretary of Labor during the Clinton Administration has nailed it in his recent article The Sequester and the Tea Party Plot by revealing the full intent and purpose of Tea Party Republicans.

Tea Partiers use fear and anger in their war against the government – blaming the anemic recovery on government deficits and the government’s size, and selling a poisonous snake-oil of austerity economics and trickle-down economics as the remedy.

I hear pundits talk of the demise of the Tea Party, and they say that the Tea Party has lost its power and is on the decline. But, even though Tea Party candidates cost Republicans the White House and Senate seats during the 2012 election, the Tea Party, unfortunately, is not going away. In fact, as long as there exists a constituency of bigoted, backward-minded people who hate government and any kind of leadership other than white male leadership, the Tea Party will continue. In my view, the Tea Party has effectively co-opted the Republican Party, and the sequester is proof positive of this.

Tea Party hatred for President Obama is clearly demonstrated by obstinate, recalcitrant  and bigoted Republican behavior. Reich’s article supports the assertion that Tea Party influenced Republicans will do anything to accomplish their hate-filled, propaganda-laden goal of “taking the country back”  including destroying the government of the United States of America and our economy in the process.

The White House: A Balanced Plan to Avert the Sequester and Reduce the Deficit

White House

I thought I would post President Barack Obama’s plan to avert the sequester cuts, because I am tired of listening to lying Republicans like Boehner and McConnell who say that they are waiting on a plan from the White House. The GOP is still the Party of “NO”; no conscience, no sense and no help for the American people. Republicans are raging because of the results of the re-election of President Barack Obama, the results of the fiscal cliff and their hatred for the first black President. Republicans are clearly looking to score points with their bigoted, extreme right-wing fringe by simply refusing to cooperate with the President. The GOP are willing to tank the American economy with their irresponsible and seditious behavior.

Kudos to President Obama for traveling to key areas in the country that will be affected by the sequester. He is telling the truth about the impact of these cuts, and the GOP can’t bear the truth.

Only Congress can avoid this self-inflicted wound to our economy and middle class families, and the only thing standing in the way of a solution today is Congressional Republicans’ refusal to even consider closing tax loopholes that benefit wealthy Americans and well-connected corporations.

bluntandcranky

Mr. Blunt and Cranky is crankier than usual, due to an argument with a sheet of ice (the ice won). To paraphrase Spider-Man, with great bluntandcrankiness comes great responsibility; so he shall utilize the excess crankitude in the service of good this week. Today, the Sequester shall become the Target O’ Crank; in particular, the lies that are being told about it, and the crap job being done by our “news” media in their “reporting” on the subject.

The history of the Sequester reveals a more complicated picture than that painted by the Teapublicans and their media mouthpieces. When reading the coverage and listening to the Congresscritters and Senators talk, you’d think that the Prexy is supposed to pass a budget and fix the problem. ‘Tain’t so, Joe.

According to the laws that govern our nation, it is the job of Congress to pass a budget. All the President can…

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The New Republic: Original Sin

Failed GOP

Sam Tanenhaus writes a compelling article in The New Republic about the inevitable decline of the GOP if it remains the party of just white people, which is its current trend. The GOP not only needs to change its messengers, it needs to change its message. The Republican Party of the present day is certainly not the party of Lincoln, but, more apparently, the party of John C. Calhoun. Conservatism has become the code word for bigotry with many Republicans channeling Jim Crow Dixiecrats. I’m happy to say that the Southern Strategy is exposed and failing.

…the GOP is in jeopardy, the gravest since 1964, of ceasing to be a national party.

The article offers a great history lesson of conservatism and the GOP in America. During the 20th century, liberalism is equated to communism. Sound familiar?  But Tanenhaus details that John C. Calhoun, pro-slavery politician and author of “nullification” (also known as state’s rights) influenced countless conservatives for more than a century, including William F. Buckley, Jim Crow proponent and the founder of National Review magazine, Barry Goldwater and the GOP icon, Ronald Reagan.

The politics of “nullification” is nothing new yet it is veiled in the rhetoric and claims of “big government”. It is simply the desire of some conservatives, to no longer be a part of our democratic collective. Tax avoidance is the ploy used to “starve the beast” or make sure that certain groups or factions that are deemed undesirable by the extreme right-wing do not benefit from taxpayer dollars.

We hear the echoes of nullification in the venting of anti-government passions and also in campaigns to “starve government,” curtail voter registration, repeal legislation, delegitimize presidents. There is a strong sectionalist bias in these efforts.

As Tanenhaus asserts, the GOP strategy is a losing strategy stuck in a bygone era of white supremacy. The country has changed both philosophically and demographically, but I surmise the GOP will be the last to acknowledge that fact.

The State of the Union, Stronger

SOTUTogether, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.

I am frequently inspired by President Obama, and tonight was no exception. I thought Mr. Obama’s State of Union speech was very good overall. It was well-delivered and touched on the policy issues that are at the forefront some of our country’s most vigorous debates — gun control, immigration reform and sequestration to name a few. The speech was chock full of policy and struck a tone that demonstrates that Mr. Obama is leading in his second term with a greater resolve.

The surprise for many in the speech was the President’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, and his announcement to bring 34,000 American troops home from Afghanistan this year. Great news after 10 years of war. The President also brought several visionary, forward thinking ideas to the speech, but what I found most interesting about the speech was Mr. Obama’s vision for America’s economic future through innovation. As well, Mr. Obama’s vision for education in America from preschool to post-secondary remains a consistent theme in many of his speeches. The Washington Post highlights five takeaways from the State of the Union speech, and the Los Angeles Times provides a breakdown by topic.

For me, what separates Mr. Obama from so many other leaders in American politics today is his focus, perseverance and willingness to be a pioneer and trendsetter in the face of great obstinacy and resistance from the GOP. His Presidency is progressing toward being truly transformational for the future of the United States. Forward.

Obama’s Recess Appointments

courthousefront

Isn’t it curious that he District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the constitutionality of President Obama’s recess appointments. Mr. Obama has made a total of 32 recess appointments because of obstruction by Senate Republicans. This ruling by the appellate court is unprecedented. In order to challenge these appointments, the Senate held brief “pro-forma” sessions to avoid “recess”. Senate Republicans argued that Obama’s appointments were unconstitutional because the Senate had not formally recessed even at times when most members were away. So now we have this ruling by three judges of questionable motivation and no real filibuster reform in the Senate. I wonder how Harry Reid feels about this turn of events?

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said: “The decision is novel and unprecedented. It contradicts 150 years of practice by Democratic and Republican administrations. So we respectfully but strongly disagree with the ruling.”

The ruling was made by David B. Sentelle, Chief Judge, Karen Lecraft Henderson and Thomas B. Griffith. All three judges were appointed by Republican administrations. Judge Sentelle was appointed by Ronald Reagan, and Judges Henderson and Griffith were both appointed by George W. Bush. Judge Griffith also advised the Senate during the impeachment trial of President Clinton. Is it a coincidence that all three judges in this case also have roots in southern red states? Apparently, Senate Republicans found a way to stack the deck against the White House.

As of recent reports, the White House will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Stay tuned.

Sanders: Strong Filibuster Reform Needed Now

BernieSanders

“This country faces enormous problems in terms of jobs, global warming, health care, campaign finance reform, deficit reduction and many other important issues. The Senate has been blocked from considering many of these and other major issues of our day by a stubborn minority’s abuse of a rule originally designed to guarantee debate, not silence it,” Sanders said.

Read the full blogpost by Senator Bernie Sanders