Archive | July, 2009

Obama-care is slipping away

31 Jul

Two academics rule Washington right now. Prof. Bernanke at the Fed is the man many think saved us from another Great Depression through unorthodox and innovative uses of Federal Reserve powers, steering financial institutions and lenders away from the cliff. A student of the Great Depression, Bernanke used his knowledge of that economic crisis to avoid (for now) entering a much deeper, longer, and more widespread crisis today. So far so good, Prof.

The other academic is President Obama. His rhetoric has sometimes been compared to that of a college professor lecturing his students; his personality has often been considered less Bill Clinton and more Cornel West. His stint as a Constitutional Law professor at the University of Chicago might have cemented that in him. I am sure he has at least one jacket with leather patches sowed onto the shoulders, just for the hell of it.

His students are starting to zone out, however.

Polls show that the public is becoming increasingly concerned with Obama’s proposed healthcare overhaul, uncertain about the costs, the change in quality of care, and many who used to believe Obama’s argument that reform was necessary to lift up our economy in the long-haul are now not so sure about it anymore. In all, Obama is losing his audience–they are drifting off into thinking about the kegger this weekend or going to IKEA rather than listening to his presentation on pre-existing conditions and co-pays.

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The Neda Protests: the 40th Day of Mourning

30 Jul

As mentioned in earlier posts, in Shia Islam, 40 days after someone’s death is an especially important day of mourning. After a woman protester who would later be named “Neda” (Farsi for “voice” or “the call”) was allegedly slain by Iranian police, she became a martyr and a symbol of the Iranian resistance. Now, 40 days after her death, protests and vigils are sprouting around Iran.

As this video below shows, the Iranian police is still not afraid to use violence in order to quiet the protesters in Tehran:

Today is especially important in Iran. If the protests continue, and somehow snowball as they did over a month ago, this could potentially destabilize an Ahmedinejad government that is barely standing up. Ahmedinejad’s cabinet is divided, and he is facing a potential vote of confidence in the next few weeks–this could be what breaks his weak grip. If on the other hand the protests wither and Ahmedinejad regains control of Iran, it may be expected for opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi and his wife to flee the country to save themselves.

Time will tell.

PSA: Stay White

29 Jul

I wonder if doing this gets me out of jury duty or counts as a charitable contribution. In either case, the point of this Public Service Announcement is this: don’t tan, stay white.

New research shows that tanning beds are as carcinogenic as cigarettes and asbestos. Let me repeat: Using tanning beds is like smoking or sniffing asbestos.

Hence, my recommendation to be proud of your fair skin and leave orange skin to this guy:

What if Obama Was Not a US Citizen?

29 Jul

As Mark McKinnon, former Bush and McCain strategist, points out: it doesn’t matter one bit. The clause in the Constitution that makes the US presidency strictly for natural born citizens is not as relevant today as it was over 200 years ago:

// http://www.aolcdn.com/ch_news/hotseatwidget.swf

More fundamentally, so what if he was born somewhere else? If he was, he was teleported to Hawaii in nanoseconds. There is no more an American story than Barack Obama. The rationale for Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution, which bars foreigners from becoming president, was to eliminate the possibility of America’s leader from holding dual or treacherous alliances with other countries. The Founding Fathers wrote this clause into the Constitution in 1789 because of scandal in Europe involving Austrians moving to other countries.

Even if he were born in Kenya, are we afraid he harbors a treacherous dual alliance? Maybe he is secretly Austrian?! Bruuuuno!!!

The question is, how long will the birther conspiracy theory last for? The House just passed a resolution reiterating the fact that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii and is a natural born citizen. But some GOPers (Inhofe!!!) and never-say-die folks willing to go to any lengths to make Obama not their president are capable of riding this out to 2012. And then comes Palin.

Glenn Beck: Obama is a 'Racist'

28 Jul

Just so everyone is clear, this is how race is handled in Washington:

  • If a White man says something about race, no matter what he  meant, that man is called “genuine” and is applauded for not being “restrained by the PC police.” Overall: It’s cool.
  • If a Black or Latino man says something dealing with race, no matter what is said, that man is accused of using the race card and “hating white people” (see example below). Overall: Shame on you, minority.
  • If a Black or Latino woman says something about race (coughSotomayorcough), she is asked ad nauseum what she meant by her statement, is asked to retract it, and is treated twice as worse as if a Black or Latino man had said it. Overall: Who let this woman speak her mind? Fess up!

Got it? Good. Because Glenn Beck will illustrate point 1 and 2 in the following clip.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/1155201977

Gibbs tackles Birther Conspiracy Theory

28 Jul

Pop quiz: Name the movie Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts were in that made Mel look and sound crazier than in real life….

Forget it. It was a crummy movie, anyway.

The Obama administration now has the birther pebble in their shoe to deal with again. Thanks, Lou Dobbs! Next up, Dobbs will rekindle the accusations made against some women in Salem claiming they were practicing witchcraft. Get the truth out, Lou!

Gibbs addressing this with the press:
http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/1155201977

Was Obama lucky to become POTUS?

24 Jul

It’s better to be lucky than good. It’s even better to know you are lucky and act upon it. To some extent, Barack Obama’s political career has been an example of this axiom, with twists and breaks that have led him to the highest office in the land.

Even if Obama had a rough time pursuing the presidential office, he is still lucky to have reached it with such an exclamation point. An African-American rookie Senator, with a less-than pristine past and a slight air of Blue-state elitism, Obama possessed many traits that have caused the downfall of much more seasoned and favored candidates in the past. Even winning the party nomination over one of the most brutally effective political machines wouldn’t have happened with at least a little bit of luck.

What if the war in Iraq turned around and became a successful war, leaving Obama as the lone dissenter against a popular war?

What if the Jack Ryan sex scandal never surfaced, or maybe not until after the election, and Obama faced Ryan, a capable Republican opponent, rather than Alan Keyes, the off-his-rocker loudmouth?

What if Hillary Clinton brought up Reverend Wright or Rezko before Obama won in Iowa, thereby derailing him before he gained momentum?

What if McCain had chosen Leiberman, or Kaine, or any other moderate VP candidate, leaving out the shenanigans Palin brought to the campaign?

What if the economy did not tank until after November, keeping Obama and McCain neck and neck in the polls, and keeping the debate around Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bush?

Would any of this have made a difference?

Would Obama still have the support of millions, a war chest overflooding with money, and a commanding election day victory?

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