Tag Archives: President Obama

Why isn’t President Obama heading out to Ferguson, Mo., to DEAL WITH …

… this CANCER on the AMERICAN soul? Racism.

We can only truly feel it if we are a person of color. If we are white, maybe feel how people feel if we are married to or in love with a person of color and live with their experiences every day.  Sometimes, if we are white, we can try to understand through the great American art of blues music. We can hear – be awed by – the pain/joy in that music. But there’s no substitute for being black or brown skinned…

President Obama knows exactly how it went down in Ferguson.

He KNOWS, but he’s gone all politician on us.

Equivocation ain’t gonna save this day! Our president DOES look gaunt and careworn. He’s got a tough job …Easy to slow down, ease up a bit at the end…Forget the poetry, the vision, the POWER OF A PRESIDENT’S WORDS. Especially this one’s.

DISENGAGEMENT IS NOT AN OPTION! Especially when so many people need you!

We wish MLK, Jr., were here! In his prime! He really was the King! He’d be down in Ferguson!

Screw Al Sharpton!

President Obama needs to go down to Ferguson! He needs to speechify. He needs to get eloquent. He needs to speak TRUTH to ugly reality.

He needs to tell HIS people – cuz they are HIS people – that what happened was evil. That he knows their pain and that the American machine is rigged to PRODUCE AND PERPETUATE THEIR PAIN. He needs to say: I hear you and you break my heart…

– R. Tirella

 

HOME OF THE BRAVE

By Edith Morgan

We all have an opinion about weapons: How many, what type, who should have them, where to use them, etc. Our country is awash in guns, assault weapons, and ammunition. Our movies and television programs extol weapon-wielding “heroes” who are presented to our children as the “good guys.” Many of grew up to believe that these brave heroes solve their (and our) problems by shooting the bad guys and thus making us safe. But do we actually feel safer? Do all the motion detectors, alarms, guns under pillows and in drawers, foot patrols, surveillance cameras, deadbolts, and the myriad other defensive devices really make us feel safer?  How much more “protection will we need to feel safe?

Perhaps our problem lies in our definition of “Safe.” Cowards are always afraid. Brave people much less so. The persons who will go down in history as having accomplished great things and influenced millions to do better, have stood up UNARMED , against well-armed enemies, and won. Think of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Moses, Jesus, Buddha – and numerous others like them.

Much closer to home, we all know real ”heroes and heroines” who took risks , and unarmed, convinced others to follow their better selves.

For example: her home never had a weapon in it; but when a young Nazi lieutenant came to her door in the middle  of the night to arrest her husband, she had the courage to demand to see the paperwork, and asked the name of his commanding officer. The young recruit, unaccustomed to being questioned, retreated to get the paperwork, giving the family time to get help and make plans. That same woman, on vacation in Paris, walked up to a group of young American students in the hotel lobby where she and her husband were staying, and asked them to take their feet off the glass-topped table, then proceeded to lecture them on how to behave as representatives of their mutual country, America. Back home, this remarkable lady, while on her daily walk with her husband, found their way obstructed by a group  of teenagers loitering on the corner. She marched up to the group and asked them to make way on the public sidewalk so she and her husband could pass. Miraculously, they did. That woman was my mother – who saved our family many times during the difficult days of WW II.

If we look around our neighborhood, I think we could find people who display that kind of bravery every day: parents, teachers, friends, neighbors – who stand up for what is right, armed only with the courage of their convictions, They should be the real heroes to whom we pay homage. And sometimes, we are smart enough to elect such a person to represent us – a person who speaks truth to power again and again, does not enrich himself at our expense, and bravely forges on despite the odds.

 

 

President Obama …

By Rosalie Tirella

… is in our prayers tonight. May he lead, truly lead our country, with wisdom, grace and bravery. May he remember his roots and more forcefully connect with and advocate for African Americans. And may he enjoy, or at least pretend to enjoy, his job, the grandest job in the world!

Obama should study President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and try to emulate him. Forget Lincoln!

Obama should remember: FDR loved being president. He found what he loved to do and DID IT WITH PASSION!!! You just know he loved getting up in the morning … because he was PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT? When you see and hear our President Obama, you think … eh, not so much. The press is a drag, the Republicans are recalcitrant haters, the economy a morale sapper. Syria, Sandy Hook. It all weighs you down.

LOOK TO FDR! The Great Depression, Hitler, World War II! Not to mention the polio that left him without any hip muscles, without any legs, so to speak. Yet when the newspaper editorial cartoonists drew President Roosevelt, he was always running, boxing, taking on Hitler like some grand American super nova!

Roosevelt, to me anyways, is our best president. He had this horrible physical handicap, but it made him a better man, an incredible president who connected with people’s, the country’s pain. It took him years to master a kind of fake walk, with the help of a cane and the strong-as-steel arm of his son, always by his side, so that he could run for public office, so that he could walk to the podium to take the oath of office on his innauguration day. He never sat down at state dinners, he plopped down. That’s how useless his leg and hip muscles were! But FDR.was in love with his job! He felt he was made for the job and vice versa! He teased the press, trading jokes with the reporters who covered him. He played poker with them.He loved the party chit chat, meeting folks, governing, leading. Historians say he was such a gifted politician because he could sense where Americans wanted to go and brought them there, ahead of schedule!

Before he became president, he founded and built with two thirds of his fortune, a hospital, rehab center for folks with infantile paralysis, polio. It was in Warm Springs, Georgia. The people there loved him! Lined up at the train station to greet FDR when he came to town. He would greet the crowd with an ebullient “Hello, Warm Springs!! Hello, Warm Springs! “

This was before he was even governor of New York! He was a lover of the peeps. And they loved him back! The folks at warm Springs even had a nickname for Roosevelt. They called him “Rosey”! How lovely! Captured his personality perfectly.

No one will ever nickname President Obama Rosey, but it would be nice if he remembered that Americans like it when their leaders show them da love. When it’s real.

Just the way it was with the brilliant politician FDR, the man who saved America several times during his four terms in office, the man who did more for the elderly, the common man, woman than Herbert Hoover and his predecessors.

FDR. President Obama should think deeply about him tomorrow … and throughout his second term.

NRA promises “fight of the century”

From The Guardian: – R. T.

NRA promises ‘fight of the century’ over President Obama’s bold gun control plan

By Ewen MacAskill and Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

Students participate in a prayer service for victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, mass shooting at St. Rose of Lima School in Miami on Friday, December 21.

Students at the St. Rose of Lima School in Miami participate in a prayer service for the victims of the Newtown, Conn., massacre. CNN

President Obama pledges to use ‘full weight’ of his office to get sweeping reforms aimed at curbing gun violence.Link to video: Obama unveils significant new gun control reforms

Barack Obama mounted the biggest challenge in two decades to America’s deeply ingrained gun culture on Wednesday, announcing a sweeping set of proposals to ban automatic weapons, limit magazines to 10 bullets, introduce universal background checks for all firearms buyers and increase scrutiny of mental health patients.

At a carefully stage-managed White House press conference a month after the Sandy Hook school massacre, Obama said the US had waited too long to tackle gun violence and it was time to act.

Flanked by a group of schoolchildren, Obama said: “This is our first task as a society: keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged, and their voices should compel us to change.”

Obama said his reforms are intended to reduce not just these killing sprees but the everyday gun violence suffered across the US. In the month since Newtown, 900 Americans had been killed by guns, he said.

“In the days ahead, I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality,” he said.

The National Rifle Association immediately vowed all-out opposition to his proposals, warning it was preparing for “the fight of the century”…

to read more, click on the link below …

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/16/obama-gun-control-plan-nra#_methods=onPlusOne%2C_ready%2C_close%2C_open%2C_resizeMe%2C_renderstart%2Concircled%2Conload&id=I2_1358535552109&parent=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.guardian.co.uk

A year in the White House – in pictures

  A Year in the White House: A Year in the White House  

16 December: ‘Two days after the shootings at Newtown, the president traveled to Connecticut to meet with the victims’ families. The president spent hours greeting family members. Difficult as that was for everyone, the one moment that helped sooth the pain was when he posed for a photo with the siblings and cousins of Emilie Parker, one of the 20 children who died that day in Newtown. I see both sadness and hope in this photograph, and I know after a lot of tears that day, it meant so much to the president that everyone was able to smile for a moment in this family photo. Thanks to the Parker family for allowing us to show this photograph publicly’

Pete Souza, official White House photographer, captures the private moments behind some of the events of Barack Obama’s re-election year of 2012.

From the Guardian, click on link below to see more photos: R. T.

  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2013/jan/04/white-house-pictures#/?picture=401913781&index=23

Mitt Romney: waging class warfare (don’t worry! he’s probably cost himself the elction!)

All that we need to know. Romney is losing ground and will keep losing ground due to his latest and largest gaffe. Robinson says it all … . – R. T.

Romney’s class warfare

By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, September 20

“Now, at least, there can be no doubt about who is waging class warfare in this presidential campaign. Mitt Romney would pit the winners against the “victims,” the smug-and-rich against the down-on-their-luck, the wealthy tax avoiders against those too poor to owe income tax. He sees nearly half of all Americans as chumps who sit around waiting for a handout.

“When Romney disclosed those views at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., this year, he and his audience had no idea they were being surreptitiously recorded. Romney obviously believed he was among friends who shared his worldview, which I would translate as: “We must stop coddling the servants.”

I am not exaggerating. Thanks to whoever leaked the recording to Mother Jones magazine, we know what Romney really thinks about the nation he seeks to lead:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right? There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that — that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they’re entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. . . . These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax.”

This analysis is not only grossly offensive but astonishingly ignorant. Romney suggests that nearly half of Americans are layabouts who leave the house only when they need to cash a government check — or when it’s time to vote for President Obama. Greetings, lazy bums, I’m Mitt Romney. Vote for me!

“The truth is that Romney is mixing apples, oranges and bananas. The three groups he mentions — those who support the president, those who receive payments from entitlement programs and those who are not required to pay federal income tax — are not the same people. Quite a few senior citizens who receive Social Security and Medicare are Republicans. Quite a few working-class voters are not charter members of Team Obama.

But Romney’s ignorance is not as shocking as his callousness. Here’s what he says next about the 47 percent: “And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

“To all the single parents holding down two minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet, all the seniors who saw their savings dwindle and had to go back to work part time, all the breadwinners who lost their jobs when private-equity firms swooped down to slash and burn — to all struggling Americans, it must come as a surprise to learn how irresponsible they’ve been. … “

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-romneys-class-warfare/2012/09/20/98327b4c-0359-11e2-8102-ebee9c66e190_story.html

p.s. I think Obama has got it – four more years – thanks to the hideous campaign/candidate that is Mitt Romney. Paul Ryan just makes things worse. – R. Tirella

Not thrilled with candidates …

By Sue Moynagh

This is not an article that endorses one candidate over another for any of the races this election cycle. Rather it is an observation that it is becoming increasingly difficult for some voters to choose any of the nominees when it is time to vote. Let me start by saying that I am a registered Democrat. I was a member of the city Democratic Committee and Ward 6 Chair for several years. I went from being unenrolled in any party to becoming an active member of the Democratic Party because I consistently voted for this party’s candidates and I also wanted to become even more involved politically. I worked in a number of campaigns and even won female Democrat of the Year award from the City Committee in 2010. So what changed?

Over the past few years, it has become difficult to find a candidate that supports what I support. For example, I voted for President Obama, not because I thought he was the most qualified choice for the Presidency, but because I could not support McCain with Sarah Palin as a running mate. I am a middle of the road Democrat, and feel uncomfortable with the positions of both extreme left members of my party and those of the ultra right conservatives. As an individual, my main concerns are protecting the environment, creating jobs, health care and public safety. Yes, I am concerned about foreign affairs, the state of the nation’s infrastructure, education and the growing national debt, but personally, it is becoming more important to me to concentrate on what concerns me directly.

When I was in my late forties, I was told that I could never get a good job because I lacked college degrees. I went back to school, and earned my degrees. I also graduated at the peak of the economic crisis, when hundreds of thousands of people were losing jobs. I am almost 60 and things are not much better.

Supposedly, the economy is improving, slowly but surely. The National unemployment rate as of July 2012 was 8.3%, and the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development projects an increase in job growth by 2.5% by 2018 within our part of the state. Sure there are jobs available, but most that I see are part time and pay minimum wage. They do not provide a living wage. Other jobs require specialized training. Employers say jobs remain unfilled because there are no qualified workers. The unemployment rate is truly much higher because it does reflect the fact that many people have given up searching for jobs, many are underemployed, and some graduates and young adults are just entering the job market. Unless you have good connections, your search may be long and fruitless.

I did work for a time as Interim Executive Director for a local Community Center, and I worked with a large number of individuals and families that needed additional assistance because they did not even come close to making a livable wage. Many clients could not find any employment or were underemployed, working even less than 20 hours a week. Most of these people have never asked for assistance before, and some feel like they have no hope of ever getting back on their feet. I know how they feel. How can you feel hope when even cashier jobs are slowly being phased out in pharmacies and supermarkets? I recently spoke to someone who said that a local company he worked for has outsourced its consumer outreach calls. We need jobs for all skill and education levels.

I am frustrated by the lack of any meaningful attempts to encourage job creation. I have never seen such polarization between parties. No one wants to compromise. Elections have always included mud-slinging between candidates, but it seems more pronounced now. I want meaningful solutions. I want to see stronger economic growth, job creation, education that helps graduates attain these positions that require specialized training and I especially want to see progress that sustains and protects the environment, not destroy it.

I speak to a lot of people about politics, and many feel as I do. Quite frankly, many Democrats are tired of President Obama. They feel that he has had his chance, but his ideas are not working. Some feel he has compromised too much, especially on environmental issues. Almost all brought up “socialism.” However, like me, they don’t feel that Romney is much better. The ultra right conservatives feel he is too moderate. Others, middle of the road Democrats, feel that he has nothing to offer. He has changed his opinion on key issues such as women’s rights and health care too many times, and he knows nothing about how the “real” men and women struggle and fail to make ends meet. People feel this way about the Elizabeth Warren/ Scott Brown contest.

I consider voting a privilege and a responsibility. I do my homework and vote for the best choice. If I feel strongly about what a candidate can bring to the office, I campaign for him or her. I will not be campaigning this year, and I don’t want to settle for the lesser of two evils when I cast my ballot. Many of the people I talk to feel the same way. We are tired of meaningless campaigns that focus on how much crap one person can dig up and throw at the other. We want informative, insightful discussions about issues and some plans that offer real solutions. We want “positives” not “negatives!”

None of us expect miracles from anyone who comes into office, but we want to believe that we can all move forward in these hard times, not just the top one percent of our population. We want to think we can work and improve our quality of life as individuals and families, and we want our future generations to have their chances to achieve the American dream.

More than a victory!

More than a Victory … an end zone dance from filmmaker Michael Moore

Dear Friends,

I’m guessing you’re still pinching yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. But yes, it happened. At 10:07 yesterday morning, the conservative Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, not only joined with the liberal justices to completely uphold almost every single part of the Obama health care law, he wrote the majority opinion himself!

In fact, he went even further. When he realized that the government had poorly made its constitutional case to the court, he went searching for a clause in their argument and the constitution that would give him the justification he needed to back the administration and to ensure that his decision would hold up legally. In other words, even though he is on the opposite side of the political fence, he wrote the Dems’ paper for them. Stunning.

The other four justices? They didn’t just vote to overturn the individual mandate part of the law, they all voted to kill the entire Act.

The media is already spending much time talking about the mandate being the “centerpiece of the law,” but the real news is that if you ever have a pre-existing condition, you cannot now be denied insurance. If you are a young adult without health insurance, you can now stay on your parents’ plan until age 26. The insurance company can no longer say there is a lifetime cap to your coverage. The insurance companies are now required to spend 85 cents out of every dollar they take in on actual reimbursement for your health care – not on profit or “administrative costs” (some companies have been taking over a 30% cut; Medicare’s total percentage of their budget for administrative costs: 2%).

I know that our side is not used to victories and so we’re not quite sure how to respond when we get one out of the blue. For some of us, the first inclination is to point out just how weak the Obama law actually is, that it doesn’t provide true universal health care (26 million will STILL be uninsured), and that it leaves control of the system in the hands of the vultures, otherwise known as the health insurance companies. The individual mandate was a huge gift to the private insurance companies, guaranteeing them billions more from millions of new customers. And many of the key provisions of this law don’t even take effect until 2014 – and if the Republicans win in November, you can kiss all of that goodbye.

So, yes, the bill is highly flawed and somewhat wrong-headed – but what it IS is a huge step in the right direction. And yesterday’s court decision cements that. The right wing knows this and they are probably unraveling in some not-so-pretty ways right now. And that’s why today is a great day. The Right has been smacked down by one of their own! They know what we all know — that the path of history has been, and will continue to move toward the basic human right that all people are entitled to see a doctor and NOT have to worry about losing their home because they can’t afford to pay the medical bills. Those days are over, or will be soon, and that is where civilization is headed. It’s not headed back to the days of Oliver Twist. Today’s victory is momentum, it’s forward motion, and we WILL have true universal health care in this country in the not too distant future.

So take some time to celebrate; this is a victory for the people. Actually, more than a victory, it is a mandate that all of us must now make sure that a second-term Obama continues to move the ball down the field, toward a system like they have in every other First World country on the planet. He simply has to improve Medicare and then expand it to every citizen in the country. The countries that do this, their people live an average of two to four years longer than we do. Is there a reason anyone doesn’t want an extra four years of their lives? Or that our babies would have a better chance of surviving their first year like they do in the 48 countries that have a better infant mortality rate than we do? Exactly who is opposed to this? You’d have to be a bit…crazy.

And that, I’ve come to believe, is the true divide in this country. It’s not blue state vs red state, liberal vs conservative, Democrat vs Republican. The split we have in America can be boiled down in its simplest form to this: On one side are the people who believe Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago – and then there’s everyone else. On that first side are the people who’ve been fed a diet of fear and lies and hate. And who is feeding them? The 1%. The richest people in the country, the ones who aren’t done with us yet because they still don’t have enough wealth, have done their best to dumb down the population through destroying our educational system and using media to provide them with a vastly distorted sense of reality. The rich’s only obstacle is that they only hold 1% of the votes in the country. So they have to try to get a slim majority of Americans to vote their way. And fear, plus keeping them stupid, usually works.

So that’s the battle ahead of us: Organizing and mobilizing the majority of Americans to push for true universal health care, Medicare for All. At one time, back in Illinois, that was the position held by Barack Obama. He will not make this happen on his own. He will only be able to do it when the mass of American people rise up and demand it. Demand it. Why not start tonight?

Five years ago this week, my health care documentary, Sicko, opened in theaters across the country. I have spent the better part of the decade on this issue, and for me, personally, fully aware of the current law’s limitations, I am very happy with today’s news – not because of its specifics or nuances, but because it is a road sign, and that sign points in the correct, humane and sane direction. THAT makes this a great day.

Yours,

Michael Moore

P.S. To learn more and get involved in the campaign for real universal health care – to complete the job that’s been started – get in touch with National Nurses United and Physicians for a National Health Program.