Posts filed under ‘Politics’
We made a decision some time ago to avoid too many political diatribes on these august (web)pages. I feel compelled to re-enter the fray this one time due to a recent occurrence that brings to mind President Obama’s poor managerial skills.
A friend of President Obama, prominent Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, was arrested when someone called 911 as he tried to enter his house without a key. He cried racism. Obama commented that he was unaware of the facts of the case, but believed the Cambridge Police acted “stupidly.”
Since then various law enforcement organizations have cried foul, many have vouched for the quality and effectiveness of the arresting officer, and the local district attorney has contemplated releasing recordings that could actually paint Gates in a very poor light if the arresting officer’s assertions are true.
This isn’t the first time that the President has waded into waters far too shallow for his situation. Since his initial poor statements he has made an effort to clarify, but it is still emblematic of his generally poor record on issues that are ultimately inconsequential to the office. I’d worry less if it wasn’t the first time, and I suspect it will not be the last.
Guest Post from Marcus:
I’m willing to tolerate quite a bit of stupidity from Presidential administrations. Let’s face it–for much of the last decade we’ve had no choice. But the Obama Administration’s declaring war on Cheerios is crossing the line. We’re big Cheerios fans in our home and we had no idea that, according to the FDA, we were taking drugs. I’m all for enforcing the FDCA, and even for cracking down (pardon the pun–we’ll get to the President’s recreational use in a moment) on corporations that do evil things (like lower cholesterol) if they’re making exaggerated claims about their products’ health properties. But notice that the FDA doesn’t dispute General Mills’ cholesterol-lowering claims–they just say that those claims “essentially makes [sic] Cheerios ‘a drug’ by their definition.” Now, I took D.A.R.E. classes in elementary school and I remember them teaching us that a drug is defined as “any NON-FOOD substance that affects the way your mind or body works.” Perhaps if the President had paid attention in D.A.R.E. (which he didn’t, as you can see here and here and here and here) this whole silly story could have been avoided and the Obama Administration could have focused on solving some of our non-Cheerios-related crises, such as the genocide in Darfur, or the social security ponzi scheme that my generation is funding, or homelessness, or hunger, or, you know, our entire financial structure generally crumbling around us. But I’m glad that we’re winning the war on drugs–and cereal.
I know I’m not the first one that has mentioned this, but I thought it worth linking to. Everytime I see a Pepsi I am little bit disturbed.
Yesterday, we celebrated Ronald Reagan’s 98th Birthday. This is one of my favorite tributes to him.
You may recall this post where I assailed some of Obama’s proposed economic plans. To jog your memory, an excerpt from that August 4th message:
Friday’s proposal says Obama “is proposing to offset the cost of his emergency energy rebates over the next five years by enacting a windfall profits tax on big oil companies.”
“Obama simply asks that big oil companies contribute a reasonable share of the windfall profits they receive from high oil prices over the next five years to pay for emergency assistance for families right now,” the campaign says.
“Over the next five years” assumes a great deal. It fails to take into account the impact that this very tax will have on profits. It assumes continued strength in the oil sector that is far from guaranteed. It targets a specific industry due to some kind of dubious moral judgement as to what kind of profits are reasonable.
I’m doing my best to be optimistic about Obama. The news that he has decided to drop this exceedingly ill-conceived idea is very positive and THAT is the CHANGE WE NEED. I certainly didn’t expect this tremendous drop in oil prices to come so quickly, but I think it gives the idea’s proponents a needed lesson in the behavior of markets.
From Mr. TRussell Jacobson, ardent capitalist:
Dear Obama-supporting Friends-
You all know me to be a somewhat sarcastic and jovial fellow, but in all sincerity I am extending my congratulations to you. I know this moment must be a time of relief and hope for you. I suppose it is similar to how I felt towards Ronald Reagan as a child and then later on as an adult. And even though I still feel uncertain and reserve a healthy dose of skepticism, I am extending an olive leaf of peace and earnestly wish our country well under President-elect Obama. I think “losers” in an election have the responsibility to stand back. Not to do nothing. But out of respect for the majority who decided, allow the agenda of the “winners” to move forward, adding their input to make the outcomes better for the constituents they represent. Likewise, the “winners” should in a spirit of goodwill, work to promote the general welfare. I think too often we as citizens allow ourselves to be stirred up by the talking heads and pundits to a heightened level of mild hysteria which makes for good news and TV ratings, but does little to quiet the quakings of our common ground.
Our founding fathers gave a few hints as to what those commonalities could include: love of country, our fellow man, and God. I only pray that all three of these commonalities will be strengthened over the next four and perhaps eight years. For if we are to remain a strong country both in terms of economic prosperity and national security, a love and respect for that trinity must endure – for they are the great assumptions of capitalism and democracy.
One of the things I fear most in the modern liberal movement is secular progressivism. It is a movement that seeks to perform a global “find a replace” function with the words God and individual. When completed, the result will be a world with no anchor of right and wrong, no moral foundation. We have seen the effects of morality ignored in our economic crisis, our social structures, and in the sufferings of millions from human rights violations the world over. In short, the world will ever be in commotion so long as morality plays the part of all things passe.
It is my assertion that capitalism is the most compassionate economic system the world has ever known. Beginning in the 18th century, its principles gave way to the birth of widespread growth in the middle class. America, the country that at one time practiced it the best, was the land of opportunity. Our standard of living has been expanded beyond what any person even 50 years ago could have imagined. When all of her citizens work tirelessly in pursuit of their own self interest, America is at its best. If President Obama accomplishes nothing else, he will have given hope without reprise to a rising generation of minorities to know that it is alright to study, to achieve and to escape the bonds of poverty. But I wish him many more accomplishments that will benefit us all.
So as the torch of leadership passes, let us recall Senator McCain’s commonly repeated confession of patriotism; “We are all Americans”. I love my country very much. My grandfathers fought against her enemies and saw their brothers in arms fall in their advance to protect our shores, defend our way of living and guarantee peace and prosperity for a generation. But as Ronald Reagan said:
Freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free.
It is my hope that President-elect Obama uses his new mantle of responsibility to serve out his time in the selfless service of his country, her citizens, and her God. For he will swear an oath to God to do just that. Should his service honor that creed, then he will have won this conservative’s vote in four more years.
So apparently Chris Matthews’ job, as a journalist, is to make this (Obama’s) presidency a success.
And what responsibility did he have to the Bush Presidency? Certainly not the same.
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Sorry, looks like the video didn’t embed correctly (dang wordpress!). Here’s the link: