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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Simple Quiz

Last night we heard the President give his sixth State of the Union address to the nation. Prior to its delivery, his political enemies were already mocking the proposals and guaranteeing not to support them. The President used the speech to obviously make himself look good and made some statements that if not lies, certainly had some holes. On balance, however, it was a bold speech, consistent with the views he has expressed in the past and one that promises to see a very active man in his last two years as our leader. Putting politics aside, here is a simple quiz, with yes or no answers. Perhaps we can judge the speech and his Presidency based on your responses. 1-Is the economy better off now than when Obama took office? 2-Is it true that unemployment is down? 3-Is it true that we have the lowest uninsured rate in history? 4-Is it true that the rate of health care inflation is at the lowest level in 30 years? 5-Is it true that we are almost independent of the need for foreign oil? 6-Is it true that we have had 60 consecutive months of private sector job creation? 7-Have we increased our usage of alternative fuel sources? 8-Has the earth experienced recent records of heat as a result of human behavior? 9-Are our roads and bridges in disrepair? 10-Do the wealthiest amongst us get tax breaks not available to the middle class? 11-Is college too expensive? 12-Is child care an essential component of a family's quality of life? 13-Do the American people support an increase to the Federal minimum wage? 14-Aren't unfair exemptions given to the wealthy and not to the lower wage classes an example of redistribution of wealth? 15-Have we brought 170,000 men and women home from Afghanistan and Iraq? 16-Did we save the domestic automobile industry through the government assistance program? 17-Is it true that there have been no terror related deaths of Americans on our soil in the last six years? 18-Is it true that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is over 17,000? 19-Is it true that we have an inferior transportation system of rail, road and port? 20-Is it true that the Republicans have not offered an alternative to the Affordable Care Act? Thanks for taking the quiz. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's all about the Message

One thing Republicans know how to do is to send messages to the voters. This past election and for the last two years, the message was simple...if it is Obama then it is bad. It worked. We stayed home in record numbers on election day, and gerrymandered districts expanded Republican control in the House and Senate Democratic candidates lost. They lost, not because of their party, but because they lacked a message. A message that they could have talked about: an improving economy, job growth, oil independence, women's rights etc. They too got sucked into the great Republican message. Democrats need to learn how to do this. How about starting tomorrow? The President will unveil more proposals that will go nowhere. His political enemies have grown in number and frankly his words wont lead to legislation. He is, however at 50 percent popularity according to today's ABC poll. A far cry from the defeated lame duck of 12 weeks ago. His message is clear. Let's help the middle class. Instead of letting Republicans win the day with their message..a 372 billion dollar tax increase on the job creators, how about this for Democrats: President Obama has proposed a 372 billion dollar tax cut for the middle class and Republicans are against it. Now there's a message. Where are you Americans for Reason and Truth?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Obama on Life Support?...Not So Fast

As of the new year, Barack Obama's perfomance as viewed by Americans is 48 favorable and 48 unfavorable. This is an increase of 11 points since the election. Our nation's record low mid term turnout in November has masked the country's real pulse. Republicans did a phenomenal job blaming Obama for everything from ebola to unconstitutional imperialism. Their message along with the consistency of the drumbeat, resonated with frustrated middle class citizens looking to play the blame game. The lesser informed amongst us, either stayed home or voted against anything tied to this unpopular President at 37 percent. So it was. The lame duck had perished. Republicans would rule the nation and show us how its done. They pledged to destroy the ACA and put 13 million newly insured back to square one. They pledged to pass a bill requiring an oil pipeline just as we are almost fully independent of foreign oil and masking it as a jobs program. They have promised to undo the executive orders of the President who has issued the fewest of all modern Presidencies and promised to show the nation how to govern. This is after six years of attempts to make Obama the most irrelevant and most unpopular President in history. Yes, they'll show him. As this rhetoric and nastiness continued through election day and the present, this plan may be showing signs of failure before it begins. Perhaps Health care reform is not as bad as promised? At least this is what the newly enrolled are saying. Without any fanfare or declarative banners on big ships, the second Cheney War has been ended.. but lets not forget the dangers of the remaining 13000 troops who will advise...The GDP has just delivered a performance that is the best in a decade. Gas prices are at 7 year lows...and yes....if Obama caused the spikes (ridiculous Newtism) then he deserves credit for the reduction...(almost as ridiculous). There have been 58 consecutive months of private sector job creation. The deficit, the big Republican mantra, is half of what it what as a percentage of our Government and health premiums are rising at the slowest rate in 25 years. Consumer confidence was just reported to be on the rise...banks are beginning to loosen lending standards so people can enter the mortgage market and sanctions in Russia are having the desired effect. The US economy is outpacing the world. Democrats ran away from these facts and fell into the trap of Republican Obama bashing thus giving Congress to the republicans and yet, Obama's popularity is on the rise. Obama plays long ball. He doesn't allow the noise of hate and distortion to set him off. He looks at what the vision for America should be and if you don't like this vision, fine, but don't count him out. I am not some Obama suck up who praises him at all costs, I just think that his haters are here today and gone tomorrow. They are the lame ducks. President Obama is the President and our future is brighter because he thinks before he acts. Don't "right" him off quite yet. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?