Tag Archive: politics


“He told an Arab-American audience of 1,000 people that the U.S. is no longer just a black-white country, nor a country that is dominated by Christians and a powerful Jewish minority, given the growing numbers of Muslims, Hindus and other religious groups here.”

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“In 1990, a year or two before he became super-famous, Rush Limbaugh guest-hosted Pat Sajak’s short-lived talk show. It didn’t go so well.”

EDIT: I posted this interesting piece of video to demonstrate how much things have changed over the decades. There used to be an unwritten protocol for debating the issues of this country. Because of the Constitution, we have a right to speak our minds about anything and be respected for it. We all shared a common vision and it was to uphold what made this country great. Like the Tower of Babel as it was struck down, the goal became divided over and over and over again. “What about my agenda?”, “I have a right to speak my mind and you should listen to me and shut up!”, “You’re a murderer. You have blood on your hands!”. Get the idea?

I believe everyone has something to contribute to society. Whether the outcomes are positive or not, those efforts will have an impact. What’s been taken out of the equation is the greater goal or higher purpose of our contributions. Instead of attaining higher levels of achievement for this country, we’re rattling around like pinballs against one another. There’s no unity. There’s no “agreeing to disagree”. There’s no greater purpose outside of our own. And because we’ve allowed so many things to distract us from our chief goals, we’ve turned into a nation that’s subdivided over and over and over and over and over again.

No wonder Rush decided to back off of TV. Not only was he unable to get a word in edgewise (topic unrelated), other people had to yell in frustration and wanted to have no part in having a dialog, a civil discussion, a following of protocol. Why are you yelling when the majority of the audience was trying to let you speak? You came off as obnoxious and disqualifying of your opinions. Rush was trying to prove a point and it was obvious that no one realized it.

Have things changed over the decades?

While everyone has a right to express their dislike for anything in this country, we must allow the outlets for these people to be heard so they can be dealt with intelligently. So they can be better informed, not bitter and go into hiding.

It used to be that this country could be entertained with satire and thus open the floor to discussion, understanding, and conclusion. “Political correctness” has caused a nation to be super-sensitive to their feelings and closed the doors to any comprehension of speech while others abuse their free speech with no regard to the etiquette of understanding openly for the sake of the masses.

Feb 25, 3:15 AM (ET)

By CALVIN WOODWARD and JIM KUHNHENN

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama knows Americans are unhappy that the government could rescue people who bought mansions beyond their means.But his assurance Tuesday night that only the deserving will get help rang hollow.

Even officials in his administration, many supporters of the plan in Congress and the Federal Reserve chairman expect some of that money will go to people who used lousy judgment.

The president skipped over several complex economic circumstances in his speech to Congress – and may have started an international debate among trivia lovers and auto buffs over what country invented the car.

A look at some of his assertions:

OBAMA: “We have launched a housing plan that will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and refinance their mortgages. It’s a plan that won’t help speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling with declining home values.”

THE FACTS: If the administration has come up with a way to ensure money only goes to those who got in honest trouble, it hasn’t said so.

Defending the program Tuesday at a Senate hearing, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said it’s important to save those who made bad calls, for the greater good. He likened it to calling the fire department to put out a blaze caused by someone smoking in bed.

“I think the smart way to deal with a situation like that is to put out the fire, save him from his own consequences of his own action but then, going forward, enact penalties and set tougher rules about smoking in bed.”

Similarly, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. suggested this month it’s not likely aid will be denied to all homeowners who overstated their income or assets to get a mortgage they couldn’t afford.

“I think it’s just simply impractical to try to do a forensic analysis of each and every one of these delinquent loans,” Sheila Bair told National Public Radio.

OBAMA: “And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.”

THE FACTS: Depends what your definition of automobiles, is. According to the Library of Congress, the inventor of the first true automobile was probably Germany’s Karl Benz, who created the first auto powered by an internal combustion gasoline engine, in 1885 or 1886. In the U.S., Charles Duryea tested what library researchers called the first successful gas-powered car in 1893. Nobody disputes that Henry Ford created the first assembly line that made cars affordable.

OBAMA: “We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before.”

THE FACTS: Oil imports peaked in 2005 at just over 5 billion barrels, and have been declining slightly since. The figure in 2007 was 4.9 billion barrels, or about 58 percent of total consumption. The nation is on pace this year to import 4.7 billion barrels, and government projections are for imports to hold steady or decrease a bit over the next two decades.

OBAMA: “We have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade.”

THE FACTS: Although 10-year projections are common in government, they don’t mean much. And at times, they are a way for a president to pass on the most painful steps to his successor, by putting off big tax increases or spending cuts until someone else is in the White House.

Obama only has a real say on spending during the four years of his term. He may not be president after that and he certainly won’t be 10 years from now.

OBAMA: “Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.”

THE FACTS: This may be so, but it isn’t only Republicans who pushed for deregulation of the financial industries. The Clinton administration championed an easing of banking regulations, including legislation that ended the barrier between regular banks and Wall Street banks. That led to a deregulation that kept regular banks under tight federal regulation but extended lax regulation of Wall Street banks. Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, later an economic adviser to candidate Obama, was in the forefront in pushing for this deregulation.

OBAMA: “In this budget, we will end education programs that don’t work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don’t need them. We’ll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use. We will root out the waste, fraud and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn’t make our seniors any healthier, and we will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.”

THE FACTS: First, his budget does not accomplish any of that. It only proposes those steps. That’s all a president can do, because control over spending rests with Congress. Obama’s proposals here are a wish list and some items, including corporate tax increases and cuts in agricultural aid, will be a tough sale in Congress.

Second, waste, fraud and abuse are routinely targeted by presidents who later find that the savings realized seldom amount to significant sums. Programs that a president might consider wasteful have staunch defenders in Congress who have fought off similar efforts in the past.

OBAMA: “Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years.”

THE FACTS: While the president’s stimulus package includes billions in aid for renewable energy and conservation, his goal is unlikely to be achieved through the recovery plan alone.

In 2007, the U.S. produced 8.4 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including hydroelectric dams, solar panels and windmills. Under the status quo, the Energy Department says, it will take more than two decades to boost that figure to 12.5 percent.

If Obama is to achieve his much more ambitious goal, Congress would need to mandate it. That is the thrust of an energy bill that is expected to be introduced in coming weeks.

OBAMA: “Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs.”

THE FACTS: This is a recurrent Obama formulation. But job creation projections are uncertain even in stable times, and some of the economists relied on by Obama in making his forecast acknowledge a great deal of uncertainty in their numbers.

The president’s own economists, in a report prepared last month, stated, “It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error.”

Beyond that, it’s unlikely the nation will ever know how many jobs are saved as a result of the stimulus. While it’s clear when jobs are abolished, there’s no economic gauge that tracks job preservation. The estimates are based on economic assumptions of how many jobs would be lost without the stimulus.

Associated Press writers Tom Raum, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Dina Cappiello contributed to this story.

Hey Bam, that’s not the door!. (Daily News)

It looks like President Obama hasn’t gotten acquainted to his White House surroundings. On the way back to the Oval Office Tuesday, the President approached a paned window, instead of the actual door — located a few feet to his right.

Doors didn’t open automatically for Obama’s predecessor either. While making a hasty exit from a 2005 press conference in Beijing, former President George W. Bush tugged on the handles of a door, only to find it locked.

Bush laughed off the blunder, but the pictures still live on as part of Bush’s lame duck legacy. However, there was little note taken of Obama’s rookie mistake.

Obama, who was returning from meeting with Congressional leaders, may have been distracted by Republicans’ icy reception to his $825 billion stimulus package, which is poised to pass on Wednesday even without a groundswell of Republican support.

Editorial: Now regardless of which individual you voted for, which party you represent, which type of leanings you may have if any, clearly you can see the press at “it’s finest”. What used to be fact reporting in the early days of journalism has now turned into a competition over who can steer the majority’s opinion in their favor.

The media should reexamine their roles and responsibilities as a journalist. Start separating yourselves from the fluff and personal bias. Reread your articles and reports from the perspective of a visitor from another planet and not as Mrs. Kravitz.

So back to the matter at hand. Why should not walking through the right door deem one person a lame duck while the other is deemed a rookie mistake? Don’t give me an obvious response for what’s on the surface, either.

I know there was the question of a few items that remained “up in the air” regarding things we want to know more of Obama but apparently, someone’s compiled a list. I honestly do not recall any other president have this many holes in their past. Why is this the case?

By Campbell Brown

CNNEditor’s note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN’s “Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull” at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the “Cutting through the Bull” segment of Friday night’s broadcast.

(CNN) — Just a couple of nights ago, we heaped praise on the new president for announcing what he called a new era of openness, where in his administration, transparency would rule the day.

And the lobbyists that he was so critical of during the campaign? Well, he told us they will now face even tougher new restrictions.

President Obama: “The executive order on ethics I will sign shortly represents a clean break from business as usual. As of today, lobbyists will be subject to stricter limits than under any other administration in history. If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied during the previous two years. When you leave government, you will not be able to lobby my administration for as long as I am president.”

That’s what he said two days ago. But as we first told you Thursday, and sadly we are learning more about this Friday, President Obama already wants an exception to his own rule.

You see, what happened is, there is this former lobbyist for a big defense contractor called Raytheon. His name is William Lynn.

President Obama wants him to be deputy defense secretary. So, the Obama administration wants a waiver to its own rule.

That basically means they are saying, we will mostly put tough new restrictions on lobbyists, except when we won’t.

Really? Is this how it is going to be?

Please, please don’t make us all any more cynical than we already are, Mr. President.
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If you have no intention of abiding by your new rules, then don’t make new rules. That would be “actual” transparency.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Campbell Brown.

“And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.”

On the morning of a historic changing of the guard, please continue to have your head firmly planted and your focus in the right direction. Just as you have easily let one man bring your mood down, you’re now letting another shoot it into the stratosphere. After 4 years, will you still feel the same? No president should ever go through what Bush has gone through towards his final days so does that mean Obama will be fair game? Being the president is a thankless job and only after you’ve left office, will you be given proper perspective. Put this country first! Do what needs to be done!

The New York Mets say the name Citi Field will remain on their new ballpark and believe the struggling bank will survive its current economic crisis following a government bailout.
At $400 million over 20 years, could the taxpayer not have insisted that the funds be allocated elsewhere in a more responsible manner? I guess there is no point in arguing with someone who feels justified otherwise, right?

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