Tag Archives: obama

Geithner nails it

How short the memories of the electorate.

When the president took office, the American economy, the envy of the world, was falling off the cliff. Growth was declining at an annual rate of about 6 percent. We were losing three-quarters-of-a-million jobs every month. The American financial system was in freefall.

People were wondering whether they should keep their money in banks, whether they should buy treasuries, the first time since the Great Depression that happened. That was the reality when this president came into office. And there was no way out of that, except for the president, working with the Fed and the Congress, to go take aggressive, strong, bold actions to arrest the freefall and start the economy growing again. And that’s what he did, and that’s what’s happened.

From PBS.

The hysteria on the Right is manufactured

(This was going to be a comment on this post.)

What if, and I realize it is a big if, Obama’s health insurance reforms work. What if we all do measurably better under a cooperative approach legislated by the Democrats. Would conservatives be OK with it?

I deplore double-standards and I ask myself — what if we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that tax cuts for the rich, for example, was the best approach to raise the median standard of living. What if conservatives were right and tax rates are north of the sweet spot for the best return into the US Treasury. I would be DELIGHTED. What if the Bush approach to Iraq had succeeded in 6 months, like they hoped. DELIGHTED. My goal is not that the Left “wins”. My goal is that we get better at government so that we get the most bang for the buck on our shared interests such as national security, the economy, health care and education.

I’ve said this before, but some people think: the Left was mean to Bush so we can be as mean as we want to Obama. You have to remember that we were all hopeful for Bush in the early days. He ran on the compassionate conservative thing and I honestly hoped he’d be successful. He was immediately deeply partisan in every single thing he did. Many of us were shocked. Bush earned our hatred. He really did. He earned it day after day for 8 years.

It is completely possible that Obama justly earns people’s hatred. If he is highly unsuccessful in measurable ways like Bush was, he’ll have earned our disapproval. If he is highly political, highly partisan, shady, obtuse and, accordingly to some, criminal like Bush was, he’ll have earned our hate. But he hasn’t been any of these things. The jury is still out on most of his policies, but he has not been a bait and switch like Bush and he has been an honest broken on the issues. I realize that Left and Right disagree on the prescriptions but even fuckwits like Glen Beck should be able to see that Obama is a straight shooter.

The hysteria on the Right is manufactured and they’ve done so because “it worked” that we all hated Bush. Even the Right hated Bush by the end. But the ideologues are jumping the gun on Obama and they are losing their credibility as a result, except to the extent that they preach to their own little retarded choir.

But frankly, if Obama can’t do this job well, I am seriously worried for us. He is as smart and as well-informed as individual we have seen in that office. He is no raging liberal. I think the vitriol we are seeing 9 months into his term is unfounded.

God Bless America

I often say “bless you” to people, like when they bring me a cold frosty Summit Extra Pale Ale. I like the phrase, even though I’m an atheist. But I just want to take a moment to say THANK YOU JESUS! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

The United States of America did the right thing. We made history tonight but more importantly, we chose an excellent man for the job.

God Bless America.

Powell sums it up

Collin Powell, that left-wing socialist un-American loon has done it again.

On Palin:

I don’t believe she’s ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president

On the rat-bastard Republicans:

I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said: such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is he is not a Muslim; he’s a Christian, has always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, “What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” The answer’s “No, that’s not America.” Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion he’s Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

On the economic crisis:

I have especially watched, over the last six or seven weeks, as both of them have really taken a final exam with respect to this economic crisis that we are in, and coming out of the conventions.

And I must say that I’ve gotten a good measure of both. In the case of Mr. McCain, I found that he was a little unsure as to how to deal with the economic problems that we’re having, and almost every day there was a different approach to the problem. And that concerned me. I got the sense that he didn’t have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had.

On McCain’s campaign:

I’ve also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Senator McCain has taken recently — or his campaign ads — on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about.

This Bill Ayers situation that’s been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign, but Mr. McCain says that he’s a washed-out terrorist. Then why do we keep talking about him? And why do we have these robo-calls going on around the country, trying to suggest that because of this very, very limited relationship that Senator Obama has had with Mr. Ayers, somehow Mr. Obama is tainted? What they’re trying to connect him to is some kind of terrorist feelings. And I think that’s inappropriate.

I agree with Powell on this one.

Conservatives, if that's what you call them, freak out

This is fascinating: Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review, resigns from the National Review because he endorsed Obama on a blog:

Obama has in him—I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy “We are the people we have been waiting for” silly rhetoric—the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for.
So, I wish him all the best. We are all in this together. Necessity is the mother of bipartisanship. And so, for the first time in my life, I’ll be pulling the Democratic lever in November. As the saying goes, God save the United States of America.

He also slams John McCain:

John McCain has changed. He said, famously, apropos the Republican debacle post-1994, “We came to Washington to change it, and Washington changed us.” This campaign has changed John McCain. It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget “by the end of my first term.” Who, really, believes that? Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis. His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?

So the Right is pissed off and Buckley offers, and the National Review accepts, his resignation.

One would be tempted to say the obvious except we don’t have to, Buckley does it for us:

I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.

Mr. Buckley is not alone among conservatives. Oddly enough, the conservative vote this year is for Obama.

Palin's great moment

A friend sent me this. We’ve all seen that Palin clip by now. I think it is maybe the first time that SNL was able to use a quote word for word and have it be absolutely hilarious. Jack is mad and he should be.

I would forgive Palin for having one bad moment. We all say stupid things. Lord knows micadelic is going to paste some Obama clip to insure proper balance. But with Palin they are ALL bad moments. I haven’t heard her say an intelligent thing yet, outside of her speech at the convention. She’s not quick on her feet, she’s not well-informed, she’s not highly educated and she’s not articulate. She would be a horrible candidate for President. With McCain being 72 years old, she is running for President. And thus the MaCain-Palin ticket is excluded from being a serious choice for your vote.

I know, I’m some big elitist because I want our highest leaders to be highly intelligent.

WTF.

Palin is a liability

Palin is a liability to McCain and the US of A. She is the intellectual equivalent of George W. Bush. She is not educated, not informed, not intellectually curious, not quick on her feet and completely inappropriate for the job of President. It has nothing to do with her being a woman. I’m glad that we are starting to get women in these races. I would love to vote for a woman for President if she shared my views and demonstrated the skills necessary to do the job.

Palin is doing the one thing that a VP candidate should never do — weakening the ticket. The Republican ticket consists of an old man who can’t seem to control his campaign and a woman who clearly doesn’t have a clue. The financial crisis on Wall St. is damning as hell to the incumbent party and I think we are at the beginning of a McCain tailspin to defeat.

It’s clearly not over yet, but the Palin love affair, with the exception of the most brain-washed pro-lifers, is completely over.

Obama's Resume

Over at 2 Focus Inn there is a post of an email forward comparing Palin and Obama. Look, Righties, we know that Obama is running against McCain. YOU invited the comparison between Palin and Obama because you keep harping on this incorrect notion that Obama is inexperienced. McCain is old and his VP choice has a reasonably good chance of becoming President. Palin must be judged as a potential President.

Here’s a quote from the above link:

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs committees, you don’t have any real leadership experience.

Obama’s resume is fantastic. He is the most qualified candidate since Clinton, in terms of his intelligence, education and firm grasp of the issues. He has good judgment, good insights, he’s candid, articulate and personable. He’d be a great President.

On the Republican watch

Let’s see, a high-level recap of the things that happened under the Republicans over the last 8 years:

1. 9/11
2. Katrina
3. The credit crisis
4. The closely related housing crisis
5. Iraq
6 Afghanistan
7. $4 gas

Now the government just nationalized Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac — another example of deregulation at work.

While the Democrats are deeply flawed in many ways, the Republicans are just completely incompetent. They are unfit to lead this country. They want their cake and eat it too and the math does not work out.

Recall the Republicans held the Congress for 6 of the last 8 years and the Presidency for 20 of the last 28 years.

This has been 8 years of a financially irresponsible administration, a foreign policy based on expensive national building, an economic policy of caving to the rich and sticking it to the middle class and a deregulation policy that has led to Yet Another Expensive Government Bailout.

It makes no sense whatsoever to believe that the Republicans are the answer to the problems that the Republicans created.

We need a president like Clinton again — a really smart moderate with liberal tendencies. We don’t need another President like Bush.

Obama could be a very Clinton-like President. McCain would be another Bush-like President.

President 2.0

I think this is a great ticket. Obama got where he is because he is smart and well-spoken. Biden is where he is because he rose to prominence in the Senate. I’ve heard people joke about how this should be the Biden-Obama ticket. That would be fine too.

When I think about what the most important criteria is, for me, when it comes to choosing a presidential candidate, it’s intelligence and honesty. I want to know the person is really smart and has really good judgement and will be honest with the American people. I will forgive almost any failure if I think this is true. It’s why I think Jimmy Carter was a great president, for example. I will accept failure if it is honest failure. I think Clinton was a great president for the same reasons: he as really smart and he wasn’t afraid to be honest with us. I still recall a debate where he answered a question by a doctor and he said “I’m gonna raise your taxes.” He did not try to hide that and his honesty was refreshing. (As an aside, Slick Willy was not necessarily honest in all regards and I do not give him a free pass for that, per se.) I even liked John McCain in those times that he was boldly honest. I’m seeing less and less of that McCain.

So Obama, to me, has the two most important qualities. He’s really smart and he’s not just blowing smoke up our asses. We’ll have a good-faith problem solver at the helm. That alone is a major, huge, gigantic, colossal, phenomenally large difference compared to Bush. In the intelligence/honesty department I think McCain is also an improvement over Bush. He is nowhere near as smart as Obama, though, plus he’s old, which slows down the processor a bit. He’s also been caught famously lying, like in regards to the rebel flag issue. He came clean, which I respected, but he lied about it in the first place.

Biden is really a great man. He is a liability politically because of his long voting record and the fact that he is an East Coast Liberal. We’ll be hearing all sorts of horror stories about what Biden has voted for (and against). But he is a solid guy with a solid reputation in the Senate and I love that he is boldly outspoken.

So Obama is better than McCain and way, way better than Bush and Biden is way, way better than Cheney. We have a chance to significantly upgrade our executive branch. President 2.0. Let’s do it!

Obama and Iraq

Iraq is a mess. If things improve and Iraqis get their country under control and implement peaceful, representative, secular government no one will be happier than me. I have never had the goal of watching Bush and his administration fail. Even if Iraq does improve and stabilize, it will not in any way excuse Bush of the major mistakes and the major unnecessary loss of life in Iraq.

What’s funny, though, is that Bush sent the bull in the China shop and now people are hard as hell on Obama, as if he should alone have all the answers and make all the right predictions about Iraq. It’s obvious to everyone, McCain included, I think, that it is time to get out of Iraq. Obama has suggested a policy of a reasoned withdrawal. This is a view that many, many people share. I believe the Iraqis themselves are suggesting it. Said the Obama camp:

“It is hard to understand how Sen. McCain can at once proclaim his support for the sovereign government of Iraq, and then stubbornly defy their expressed support for a timeline to remove our combat brigades from their country,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

If Obama is elected President he will be inheriting Bush’s mess and it may not go 100% smoothly. Given how unsmoothly it has gone so far, and how tolerant the Right has been with it, I’m sure they will be very supportive and tolerant of Obama’s efforts.

Yeah right.

Why Iraq Matters

Let’s ask 2 questions:

1. In retrospect, was it a good idea to invade Iraq?
2. Given that we are in Iraq, what is the best course of action?

My answers: 1) Of course not. It represents a complete failure of foreign policy. This is universally agreed upon with the exception of the ultra-wacko-wing of the Right wing. 2) We should transition to an international non-US-led peace-keeping and reconstruction effort and we should completely withdraw troops from Iraq except to the extent that we participate in that effort.

What would McCain say? What would Obama say? What do you say?

‘Cause the thing is — the answers to these questions basically tell you the foreign policy philosophy of the respondent. If you don’t question our actions in Iraq given what we know today, you are a hardcore imperialist hawk. Given what we know today it did not warrant unilateral US military action in Iraq, no question about it. We could have kept playing the diplomacy game just like we do with North Korea and Iran. Only people who want to control the Middle East for strategic control of the oil think Iraq was a good idea.

For #2, given #1, can we admit a mistake? Can America be humble? Can we do the right thing after a mistake?

As for the war on terror, it is separate from the war in Iraq. The sects in Iraq will have to come to some equilibrium. Everyone wants to start putting things back together. The terrorists, to the extent they are there at all, will be demotivated by peace and prosperity. The US military is impeding, not aiding, the transition to self rule. That “the surge is working”, if it is, is proof of this. Peace is proportional to the number of troops on the ground in that way of thinking. It’s untenable. Peace has to be proportional to less troops on the ground if we are to be successful.

McCain is Bush on Iraq. I know he would try his best to solve it his way. We would all hope that President McCain would be a greater leader and inspire greater leadership from his cabinet. But his policy is still basically the same as Bush’s. How can anyone be convinced that the Bush doctrine in Iraq is credible!

No matter how much you disagree with my answers, Bush’s answers are the problem and McCain basically agrees with Bush on Iraq. QED, McCain cannot be trusted with the presidency.

Let's have a good, clean Presidential campaign

We have 2 good presidential candidates in Barack Obama and John McCain. I like John McCain more than I ever liked Bush and I like Barack Obama better than either Al Gore or John Kerry. These are two good candidates and two good men.

Now it’s inevitable that the extremists in either party will sling mud and pull all sorts of dirty tricks. All they need to do is hide behind empty shell companies and buy advertising. Given the current laws we have, we can’t stop these assholes from playing dirty. Thus we must do our best to ignore it. The candidates on both sides should denounce it emphatically and ask people who are supporting them to not do it.

The fair game, in my opinion, is 2 issues:

1. What qualities does the candidate have as a person and a leader.
2. What are his positions on the issues.

Those are the only two valid discussions we should have.

Now to the issue of guilt by association — it’s a gray one, in a sense, because whom you choose to associate with does lend insight into #1 above. On the other hand, we should never take some other person’s views as a proxy for the candidate’s views. The candidates can speak for themselves! So if some advisor to Obama is a racist, for example, we cannot infer something about Obama’s views from this. If McCain has a supporter who is an ardent theocrat, we can’t assume that McCain shares that view.

If McCain, though, goes to Bob Jones University (or Obama goes to, say, The Sierra Club) and proclaims what a great institution it is, then he is inviting assumptions.

Above all I’m praying to God (and that from an atheist) that the candidates themselves take the moral high ground. Both campaigns will be looking for every advantage, but being above the pissing match should be an advantage. Let’s pick the candidate who stays on the issues, has intelligent views on the issues and who avoids the slash and burn bullshit of “Swift Boat” politics.

Obama is more experienced than Reagan

People keep trying to bring up Obama’s “inexperience”. I have two objections to this. 1) He is a very accomplished person professionally and 2) Why is it, all of a sudden, that people think the only ones capable of being President are career politicians? Who else has direct foreign policy experience except people in government? Are we non-politicians so stupid and so ill-informed that we could never be considered for President?

No, of course not. Obama has a law degree from Harvard and he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was professor and a lawyer before serving in both the state senate and the US Senate. He has more government experience that probably 99.99% of the people in the country.

By contrast, Ronald Reagan was the governor of California for 2 terms. That is the sum total of his political experience. Note that this includes no foreign policy experience. Oh I guess I should mention he was the president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Obama is more experienced and more educated than Reagan was and much better prepared to be President.

Obama is not perfect. I disagree with some of his positions. But STFU with this bullshit that he is incapable of doing the job. He is completely capable and he represents a welcome change from the 8 years of incompetence we just endured.

Operation: Desperation begins

I really can’t add much to this article at the Minnesota Monitor: Rightwing blogs decry Obama’s meeting with imam Bush kissed except to try to point attention to it.

I have a challenge for conservatives and middle of the road Republicans — give Obama a chance. Just give the man a chance. John “Bush 3.0″ McCain represents nothing more than a minor tweaking to Bush’s policies on Iraq and the economy. When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. I know the far right could never vote for Obama but many of you that voted for Bush and were disappointed owe it to yourselves to listen to Obama and give him a chance to earn your support. I don’t agree with Obama on every issue. It’s not required that you agree with a candidate on every issue. Separate the person from the political party and give each candidate a fair shot at your support.

I respect John McCain. I really hope he doesn’t give me reason to withdraw that respect during this campaign. I agree with McCain to some extent on several issues, I respectfully disagree on some issues and I think he is dead wrong on some issues. I will listen to him during this campaign and I hope he surprises me. The Dept. of Opinion Manipulation in the Republican party is going to try to make him say all sorts of stuff*. I hope he doesn’t say it.

* I was dismayed that McCain went to the NRA with same old tired and incorrect bullshit about how Democrats want to take your guns away. I think Obama should go talk to the NRA and say “how long are you gonna let Republicans buy your vote by uttering the one sentence they know you want them to say? It’s fucking naive to think that any single issue is more important than the management of the United States of America as a whole. Your interests are much broader and more vital than the single issue of gun legislation. No one is trying to take away the guns of law-abiding citizens. Relax and let’s move on to the important stuff.”