Making A Difference In An Indifferent World!

Posts tagged ‘Obama’

Perspective On the Presidency

The following post is written by our newest guest blogger, Roger Burt, PhD. Roger is currently the Manager for the “Wendy Rosen for Congress” campaign. He is a long-time Maryland resident, political activist and psychologist, involved in setting up & working in mental health programs in Baltimore County.  He brings a different perspective to my blog and provides new insights into the 2012 election cycle.

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Van Jones is a co-founder of Rebuild the Dream and is a bright and perceptive person. Recently he commented that in watching President Obama, he was able to see that a president walks a tightrope. In his role, because of diverse forces, he cannot stray too far from the track he must walk on. Jones commented that with the advent of the Tea Party, they had yanked the rope to the right – hard. With the arrival of the Occupy Movement, the young millennials yanked the tightrope back. 

Jones’ imagery and his perceptions strike me as exceedingly realistic. He concludes that there must be two sources of power: The presidency is one, but there must also be a movement, although there may be more than one. In this instance, it is the Occupy movement he is referring to. And it cannot be merely a movement. If it is to have real effect, the movement cannot be desultory or without the power of substantive meaning. Of course, in Occupy, we do not yet see a firm or immutable focus. Instead we see energy and meaning which has youth behind it, as they assert their future, although its ramifications are yet to be made clear or, for that matter, the effect they will have. They have clearly changed the dialogue. We are now discussing wealth inequality in a way which did not exist just a short time ago. History will eventually instruct us about what else this movement might mean.

But fundamental importance is found in the existence of a meaningful movement. There must be change and dynamism in a society and not just government alone. What we have to ensure is that the movement is not merely selectively substantive, but directs its energy in behalf of all the citizens.

Many of us are building an alliance with our President, in the movement or movements we support. At the same time, there are critiques being leveled at Obama as if he has not done enough. Do we hear a cry for purity? Purity is not my favorite word. We heard its rattle in crises in South America, as countries and the futures of the people were torn down. Purity is rarely achieved, if it is achievable at all, or even desirable.

On our shores we created a government with checks and balances. Only recently, the checks have been coming from the opposition in the form of immobilization of government. In spite of the tightrope the President must walk, another job he has to manage is overseeing the need for order, to maintain a government against those who would tear it down.

These images make it clear that we all need to tend to the positioning of the tightrope, and tug it in constructive directions, as we assist our President in governing. What is particularly alarming at this time, is that we are seeing people who are not tugging the tightrope in a direction, but are trying to fray it, if not cut it down, entirely.  And so, our movement must partly be in defense to those who would destroy it all. 

This perspective is essential as we weigh alternatives among ourselves. There is executive authority, and there is the movement or movements of the people. In these things, we achieve order and progress. Thank you for your thoughts, Van Jones. They both, inspire, and direct us.


Obama Made The Right Decision!

The Republican attack on the President regarding the loss of jobs with the rejection of the KeystoneXL pipeline, was nothing short of hypocritical. Their ‘spin’ doesn’t include the fact that more jobs will probably be created if the pipeline was approved; what they don’t say is that those jobs will most likely be in the field of “oil recovery and clean up” after the pipeline has it’s first accident that destroys water supplies in the pipeline area.  Are those the kind of jobs we really want to create? Is that the kind of environmental damage we want to turn a blind eye to?  Apparently, the Republicans are more driven by oil company executives than they are for the safety of America, including our future generations. Wasn’t it the Republicans who wanted to protect future generations from inheriting the budget deficit? Why are they willing to sacrifice those generations for immediate profits? I think we all know the answer to that question!

President  Made the Right Decision

The President made a reasoned and reasonable decision when he instructed the State Department to deny the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.  This project  has the high potential to endanger the environment, and the impact on the public health needed a thorough review.  However, Congressional Republicans demanded a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision within sixty (60) days (an untenable deadline).

Time is needed to determine the consequences of the proposed 1700-mile pipeline, which would run through one of the Midwest’s major sources of drinking water.  A thorough safety review is necessary before giving the go-ahead to this project.

Natural resources must be developed in a responsible fashion.  To that end, the President has taken steps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, including:

* Importing 1.1 million fewer barrels of oil daily

* Increasing wind and solar power by 70 percent

* Supporting over 200,000 clean energy jobs

In addition, fuel economy standards for automobiles and light trucks have been raised, in order to decrease our use of oil for transportation.

Decisions such as this, which have long-term consequences for the environment and for our and our children’s health, cannot be made arbitrarily and without adequate study beforehand.

Carol Ann Ellis

U.S. banks should “undermine” Occupy Protesters: Memo

The following is an article from reporter, Dave Ingram, of Reuters, regarding a memo from a lobbying firm to the American Banking Association, urging them to allow the lobbying firm to perform research into the OWS movement, including background checks and individuals’ motives for participating!  I thought readers would be interested in seeing what is going on in the back rooms of corporations!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Occupy Wall Street movement is a big enough problem for U.S. banks that they should pay for opposition research into the political motives of protesters, said a firm that lobbies for the industry.

Jay Cranford - Sr. Partner

Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford, a Washington-based firm, proposed the idea in a memo to the American Banking Association, an industry group which said on Saturday that it did not act on the idea.  The four-page memo outlined how the firm could analyze the source of protesters’ money, as well as their rhetoric and the backgrounds of protest leaders.

“If we can show they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent, it will undermine their credibility in a profound way,” said the memo, according to a copy of it on the website of TV news channel MSNBC, which first reported on it. (See MSNBC’s report

Clark Lytle Geduldig counts the banking association among its regular lobbying clients, U.S. Senate records showed.  Other clients include MasterCard Worldwide and a banking coalition concerned about interchange fees.  The firm did not respond to requests for comment.  Its memo said it could deliver research, survey data and plans to use the information in 60 days at a cost of $850,000.

Banking association spokesman, Jeff Sigmund, told Reuters the memo is authentic, but his group was not interested. “Our government relations staff received the proposal – it was unsolicited and we chose not to act on it in any way,” Sigmund said.

The memo is dated November 24, five days after it became public. Sigmund did not respond to a follow-up question about the date. November 24 is also the Thanksgiving holiday. The memo said U.S. financial firms should be concerned about comments that Democratic campaign consultants have made in the news media about trying to harness the energy of the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

“This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street firms,” it said. “If vilifying the leading companies of this sector is allowed to become an unchallenged centerpiece of a coordinated Democratic campaign, it has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bull’s-eye.”

The memo is from Clark Lytle Geduldig’s four name partners. Two of them, Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford, are former aides to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican.

Using shorthand for Occupy Wall Street, the memo said:

“It may be easy to dismiss OWS as a ragtag group of protesters but they have demonstrated that they should be treated more like an organized competitor who is very nimble and capable of working the media, coordinating third party support and engaging office holders to do their bidding. To counter that, we have to do the same.”

After performing some additional research on the internet, I found another portion from the memo…


And WE’RE the Anti-America Crowd?

Just when we all thought that the far right could do nothing more to expose their ignorance and hatred for Obama, we find that the Tea Party has surprised us again!  What is so unbelievable is that the Tea Party likes to characterize Obama, Democrats and those of us with Progressive views, as “socialists, anarchists, anti-American scum, bent on the downfall of  ‘merica.”

"Bring down the country so we can bring down the President!"

Last week, Tea Party activist Melissa Brookstone, writing on the Tea Party Nation website, called for a “national strike” by small businesses. And, what is the goal of the strike? To call on Congress to come together and stop bickering?  NOOOOO!  To demand that Middle Class Americans get help to refinance their “underwater” mortgages?  NOOOOO!  Ok…how about to stop cutting programs that provide medical services and school lunches to our millions of hungry and uninsured children?  HELL, NOOOOOO!

Brookstone’s ‘strike’ calls for America’s small businesses to stop all hiring (yes, you read that right: STOP, not START) while Obama and the “Democrats-Socialists” who control the Senate stop leading this country into chaos. Specifically, Brookstone rallied her troops with:

I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

I hereby declare that my job creation potential is now ceased.   “I’m on strike!”

Well now…that’s one way of helping to bring around the demise of capitalism and economic growth in the country. But, considering that there are some wily, cunning and creative (best positives I could come up with) people on the far right, you’d think that they could have come up with something a little more helpful to the cause of capitalism, individual freedom, democracy…and the American way of life!

If I had been in Brookstone’s shoes, I would have attacked this problem of “Global Socialist Decay” in an entirely different way. If the Tea Party and the far right REALLY wanted to show Obama and the Democrats/Socialists ‘what for’, they should have done the following:

1.  INVEST in their business by hiring and expanding;

2.  INVEST in their business by providing their workers with the benefits that the Government has been forced to provide;

3.  INVEST in America by bringing back jobs from overseas and putting their neighbors back to work;

4.  INVEST in the message, “We believe in America and the American way of life, so we are going to show those Socialist Pigs the right way to get this country back on track, by hiring, expanding, providing competitive wages and benefits to our employees, which, in turn, will foster loyalty, improve production and make their lives richer and more secure. THAT’S how we’ll get back at those anti-American, protesting, living-off-the-dole socialist, commie-pinko-fags!”

Now, call me naive and a hopeless optimist, but wouldn’t these actions show the positive sides of laissez-faire capitalism, democracy and the American way of life?  My Mom always told my brother and I, “Don’t get mad…GET EVEN!”  It seems to me that Brookstone is VERY, VERY mad! Unfortunately, the only ones that will have a chance to “get even”, with her approach, will be those ‘Democrats-Socialists’ when election day, 2012, rolls around; people will have seen no improvement in the jobs outlook, thanks to Brookstone’s “strike on hiring” and now that she has put such an idea in writing, those same people will be able to point to her philosophy on economic growth and say, with the flick of their finger, “FOUR MORE YEARS…FOUR MORE YEARS!!!”

The Speech Obama Should Deliver!

The following is the campaign speech of President Franklin Roosevelt, running in his third campaign for the White House.

“For nearly four years now, you have had an administration which instead of twirling its thumbs, has rolled up its sleeves.  And I can assure you that we will keep our sleeves rolled up.  We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace: business and financial monopoly, speculation, wreckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.  They had begun to consider the government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs, and we know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mobs!

Never before in all our history have these causes been so united against one candidate as they stand today.  They are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred!

I should like to have it said of my first administration, that in it, the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match!  I should like to have it said! Wait a minute! I should like to have it said of my second administration, that in it, these forces met their master!”

FDR...the more things change, the more they stay the same!

It’s amazing how the same forces that plague us now: business and financial monopoly, speculation, wreckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering” were the very same foes FDR fought against.  Perhaps, President Obama needs to take a lesson from history and deliver the same speech to Congress and the American people. More than anything else, FDR always came across as a leader, unafraid and sure of himself and his course, believing that he was working in the best interest of the American working class. THAT’S why he was so loved and asked to run again and again! This is what the working class needs from President Obama…fierceness…direction…a strong will…and belief in the working class!

3 Unbelievable Rick Perry Quotes

"What, We Worried?"

3 Unbelievable Rick Perry Quotes.

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