These days that means getting people out to the stores to spend money so that we can start expanding the businesses again, right? Jump starting the economy means promoting investment, and the only way investment works is if there is growth- and in order for there to be growth, people need to be spending money. Circular, for certain, and we need to start drawing a whole new circle.
I love it. That was Hillary Clinton’s assessment of the Pakistani government’s claim that they don’t know where al Qaeda is.
"I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn't get them if they really wanted to," she said. I’ve never been a big Hillary supporter but that is awesome. She flies to Pakistan after traveling the world and being super-peacemaker, sits down and is like, ok guys, lets get down to business here.
Obama’s handing of the financial crisis is on the block once again, and everybody is throwing tomatoes. All sides have lashed out against his “too big to fail” approach according to Reuters, in an interesting twist for the president who is pulling the economic and financial strings of what the future of the American free market economy actually looks like.
Too Big To Fail!
So far he gets a bad score on Copenhagen, lost out on the Chicago Olympics bid, hasn’t made any kind of progress on the Israel-Palestine Peace Accord and hasn’t made any real decision about Afghanistan- so, this one has some clout as far as giving us some idea how Obama plays hardball in the international political arena.
There are 65,000 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan and President Obama is taking his time considering whether to send all or part of the 40,000 recommended/ requested by General Stanley McChrystal. Cheney says Obama is dithering (Does what Cheney thinks still matter?) It’s the first real decision that Obama is going to make in his role as Commander In Chief.
It brings up a few questions, all of political significance:
As politics and the environment become more and more entwined, they will become the framework for every other issue out there. Do you think the healthcare reform issue has nothing to do with the environment? What about the financial crisis? Is it a stretch to say that both of them are actually about the environment? Perhaps, but consider:
1. Healthcare: Taking care of each other is about community, and community is what America does not have. Individual rights? Yes. Patriotism? Yes. Community? Not so much. And that’s what makes it ok to argue that creating a public option is not a good thing for people.
"Many Catholics in high office have fallen woefully short in their performance in office. The synod calls on such people to repent, or quit the public arena and stop causing havoc to the people and giving the Catholic Church a bad name,” said a message from the synod.
Some people, mostly the vocal elements of the ever more cartoonish Right, have accused me and my party of having a comprehensive "Liberal Agenda". They say we're trying to make the country different from what it once was, that we have plans for America's future and nothing but the conservative bloc can stop us. Well, to that I have this to say:
My name is Barack Obama, I am the President of the United States of America and yes, I do have a big, gay, socialist, liberal agenda.
"It's time to level the playing field for American healthcare consumers and make the insurance industry play by the same rules that other industries live by," said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.
And there you have it- the Senators are going after the insurance industry not just with the public option but where it hurts- the insurance industry’s exemption from antitrust laws.
So, is this an earnest attack or just a bargaining chip in a brutal battle over the coming healthcare reform vote- as in, Democrats saying look, back off with the assault on the healthcare reform or we are going to come back at you and bust up your antitrust exemption. Don’t make this any nastier than it already is, guys.
Since Democrats are saying they will add it on to the bill that will be going to the floor in the next few weeks, I expect it is there as a bargaining chip, something to be taken off later on once the battle gets going.
Remember this iconic poster? Just one year ago they were plastered on walls across America- and though many of us recognize these posters, few of us would know the background story on one of the most recognizable visuals of the early 21st century.
about America learning to live within its means once the economy recovers- but, won’t the economy only truly recover once people start investing again? And doesn’t investment inherently mean creating money where it wasn’t before- as in, getting things to grow- as in, getting your money to work beyond its means?
Words I associate with the Obama campaign: Change, Hope, New.
Words I associate with the Obama presidency: Great speeches, Unwavering optimism, No new legislation.
I’m not getting down on President Obama, but I am in the camp that wonders where the change is. But that said, I see what he is up to- he’s currently working on probably the most difficult issues of his presidency: trying to pass a universal healthcare reform bill and trying to figure out how to deal with the war in Afghanistan. Each of these will have significant and lasting impact on the general perception of his presidency. Take your time and make the right decision, make them happen, fine.
Ah, I haven't felt this good in a long time. I'm sleeping better than I have in months, I've got my appetite back and I am just so relaxed. It's just nice to be recognized for once, ya know? I mean, recognized for who I really am. Everybody always sees the suits and the b-ball and that big, gaudy seal that says "The President of the United States", but they don't know what's underneath it all. Deep down, I guess I'd call myself a negotiator of sorts, the kind of guy who can show people how to settle their differences and make some real progress. Yeah, there'll be no more needless fighting while I'm in charge. We're just gonna have to slow things down and start working at a more reasonable pace. Of course, I can't move as fast these days as I used to, on account of being a little weighed down by my Nobel Peace Prize.
Politics is, at a very base level, the exchanging of favors for mutual gain. One of the biggest political stories going on right now is Obama and the Afghanistan issue- there are plenty of political moves being played there.
Japan is choosing to let an Afghanistan refueling contract with the U.S. run out just a month before Obama is set to visit them- but there is a new government in Japan, a new party in power and they are claiming that they want the U.S. to treat them as more equal. Well, not renewing a military contract is a great first step toward that, guys…
That would go in the hard-guy category, not on the side of exchanging favors for mutual gain. On the other hand…
Obama is deciding what to do about Afghanistan. And it’s a big decision- let’s see:
Honestly, I don’t really know what to think. During his acceptance speech, President Obama attempted to deflect attention from himself, and for good reason. One would be hard pressed to find a solid problem that he has yet solved. This doesn’t mean he won’t solve any problems or that he will; it’s just a statement of fact. But it’s not necessarily important that he has “done” anything. No one who has won the Nobel Peace Prize has ever actually brought about peace in the world. It is their effort to bring about peace that the award seeks to honor.