Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Category: President Obama

Credit – Bid Laden and the Bad Economy

Reading the comments on any news site is like traveling through a verbal minefield. Those on the right want to blame President Obama for our bad economy and those on the left want to blame former President Bush (George W, not George Herbert Walker). Then, regarding Bid Laden’s death, those on the right want to give credit to former President Bush (again, G.W.) and those on the left want to give credit to President Obama.

Both sides are wrong.

Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about the capture of Bin Laden – but, that’s not going to stop me from commenting. Here’s what I know based on various news reports.

I know that he was found in Pakistan. I know that at one point Pakistan was our “friend”. At some point, we decided that we needed more CIA operatives in Pakistan and we put them there. Eventually, these extra operatives were able to find out the necessary information on Bin Laden’s whereabouts and that is when President Obama was brought fully into the loop (Please don’t fool yourself in thinking that the CIA shares every bit of information with the President, they don’t.) and he made the decision to go and get Bin Laden.

Intelligence gathering takes time, just in case you don’t know. If the information had been gathered four years ago, Mission Accomplish would’ve rang true for Bush II, but it didn’t. Should President Obama be allowed to bask in glory of having found and disposing of our nation’s greatest enemy on his watch? Damn straight he should. Give the man his moment in the sun. He gave the order, he approved the mission. If it had failed, he would’ve taken the blame (remember Carter?). He, along with our fine Navy Seals – take that special forces (what can I say, I’m a Navy brat) – should feel proud for this successful mission.

Now, I would like to say one more thing. Former President George W. Bush is not dissing President Obama by not appearing at Ground Zero with him. He’s doing exactly what he said he would do: stay out of the spotlight. With the exception of his book tour, Bush has stayed away from being center stage. His father did it during Clinton’s presidency and now, George W. Bush is following in his father’s footsteps. He’s doing what the right wing doesn’t want done: He’s giving Obama his day of glory. I think that’s very nice of him.

Now, about the economy. Here’s a very short economic history lesson:

The repeal of the Glass-Seag­al Act in 1999 by the Gramm-Leac­h-Bliley Act started the financial mess (by removing the barrier between Wall Street investment banks and depository banks. This led to the sub prime mortgage crisis, which nearly brought this country to it’s knees. For the record, the Gramm-Leac­h-Bliley Act was sponsored by Republican­s and signed into law by a Democrat. Both parties are to blame.

Now, I believe that when you coupled the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act with Bush’s ridiculous tax cuts for the rich, you just added fuel to the fire. Profits became king, which made the banks and Wall Street take even more chances. However; I am not saying that the Bush tax cuts were the sole reason, just that they exasperated the situation. I am not sure what the tax cuts would’ve done to our economy without the repeal of the Glass-Seagal Act.

In other words, and I’ll say it again, both parties are to blame.

You know who isn’t to blame?

President Obama.

No matter how you slice it, you can’t lay the blame of a bad economy at the feet of a man who wasn’t in power when the economy started to tank. Even though I don’t believe Bush caused the bad economy, there’s at least some cause and effect there and precedence for blaming him. Remember, Carter was blame for the bad economy he inherited from Ford and Reagan was blamed for the bad economy he inherited from Carter. (The 70’s and early 80’s were just a bad time.) In fact, I don’t think Reagan would be so beloved today if he had to deal with the 24 hour news channels and the bloggers like Obama does. But, that’s for another blog.

So, in a nutshell, let’s stop all this petty bullshit and start actually working together. Let’s stop shouting crap at each other and start crossing the aisle. Neither side has a monopoly on what’s wrong for our country and neither side has a monopoly on what’s right for our country. We’re never going to get anywhere if we keep hoping the President fails or slam him all the time. We can’t solve any of our problems talking about those blowhards, Palin and Trump – two people who couldn’t be elected dog catcher to the stars. Let’s start having open dialogues about the issues with some facts, not falsehoods and let’s figure out how to solve our problems. We didn’t kill Bin Laden without some cooperation on both sides and we won’t be able to fix the economy without it.

Tax Cuts and the Rich Republicans

Pay attention – the economy is improving.  Things are getting better.  We are on the right track.  But, if we turn the reins back over to the Republicans, all we’ll hear about for the next two years are cut taxes and gay marriage.  This group of Republicans are probably making Ronald Reagan roll over in his grave.

There entire goal is to be re-elected and once re-elected, it will be pro-business, anti-worker as usual.

Case in point, House Minority Leader John Boehner has said that he will back  “President Barack Obama’s proposal to renew the expiring Bush tax cuts only for those making less than $250,000 if it were his only option.” (Quoted from CNN)  But, that’s not good enough for the rest of his party.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell thinks that no one should pay any higher taxes next year.  McConnell, also, believes that the people hardest hit in this recession were those who made more that $250,000 per year.  Seriously?  There were a lot of homes in foreclosure in my neighborhood – not one of those families that lost their homes earned more than $250,000 per year.  The people hardest hit were those in the middle and on the bottom rungs of the ladder, not the fancy quarter of a million dollars a year people.

Eric Cantor – R-Virginia – proves that he’s a stand up guy – for the rich:  “I will do everything in my power to stop President Obama and Speaker Pelosi from raising taxes on working families, small business people, and investors.”  Nobody said they wanted to raise taxes on working families – just those people earning more than $250,000 per year.  And, think about that — that’s NET not GROSS.  I know small business owners and they don’t make more than $250,000 per year.

According to Obama, extending the tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 per year will cost the government $700 billion – which would go a long way to fund our military, our schools and put Social Security back on the right track.

The bottom line is this:  Bush gave a huge tax break to the wealthy.  The wealthy in turn said thank you very much and began laying off workers.  Even though the economy is improving and business profits are up, the wealthy is still saying, “We’re not hiring.”  Companies, like Harley Davidson, are asking for drastic concessions from their workers and not promising a thing in return.

Let them pay the higher taxes — they haven’t been hiring with the lower taxes – maybe this’ll give them the swift kick in the rear that they need.

The Racist That Wasn’t

Have you ever walked in on a conversation and misunderstood what was being discussed?

Sure you have – we all have missed the point when we don’t hear the full story or are told the full context.

In right wing circles, they are all clamoring to find that Black racist that proves that Blacks hate Whites as much as Whites hate Blacks. They want to support the comments made by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to prove that Obama is a racist. The thought that a man who is both white and black being racist is absurd, but there are people in this nation who believe the most unbelievable things. Their own racism shows when they fear that the other side of the coin believes the way that they do.

This desire to find anti-white racism where it isn’t is probably what led to conservative blogger and activist, Andrew Breitbart, to post a “2 minutes, 38 seconds of video clips of a black federal agriculture official saying she didn’t do everything she could to help a white farmer”. He merely found the part he wanted, posted it and watched as our nation – including our White House – lose its collective mind in a mad rush to judgment.

In one day, the black official – Shirley Sherrod – has been forced to resign by an administration who should have dug deeper into the facts. She is villainized by the right wing press, including Bill O’Reily (who is usually a bit more levelheaded). The clip plays every where until levelheads prevail and it is pointed out that the words taken out of context seem racist. However; context is everything and, if you don’t hear Sherrod’s entire speech, you miss her whole point, which is decidedly not racist.

Like the conversation that starts before you arrive.

I’m ashamed that the administration has to backpedal.  Robert Gibbs made a full apology.  The administration should take some of the blame for the mess that is now out there.

But, the media, who jumped on the story like a starving man jumping on a Big Mac, should shoulder the majority of the blame.

Even Glenn Beck, who surprisingly didn’t jump on the story (as far as I can tell), said “What’s happening here is that she’s guilty until proven innocent. They fired her and now they are back-pedaling. There’s no due process here. Doesn’t an American have a right to a fair trial? They have politically assassinated this woman. No one has heard the case for or against her, they just took her out. When did we stop having the right to face our accusers?”

A rare message of reason from Mr. Beck.  He’s right.  The administration went too far, but the media led the crusade against Shirley Sherrod.  And, for that, they should hang their heads in shame.

Wake Up, America!

Here’s what I don’t understand about the upcoming elections.

We elected President Obama because he said he would bring us change.  He promised Universal Healthcare and Wall Street Reform.

He fulfilled his promises.  He said he would do it.  He told Congress to do it.  They did it.  He signed them into law.  He even managed to lower taxes for 95% of the population.  He expanded college loans and he put regulations on credit card companies that, not only, make them more transparent in their fees and rate hikes, but stops the ever moving due date.  (Ever been late because your credit card company changed the due date from the 21 to the 18th?  No?  Well, I have.)

President Obama received a country in complete and total shambles.  We had a president before him (and a one before that one) who took the bite out of banking regulation, which led to the Wall Street meltdown that, in turn, has led to Main Street’s demise.

But what those Tea Partiers keep yelling for is smaller government and less taxes.

Well, that’s just not going to happen.  And, it is a crock of crap.

Really – it is.

The deregulation over the last thirty years has led to one of the worst financial meltdowns since the Great Depression.  The lower taxes on the rich has just made them more greedy and has led to companies moving plants overseas, which has led to job loss.

All caused by Republicans.

And, now, every magazine I read, every blabbermouth on TV keeps telling me that my fellow Americans want to put the Republicans back in power.  Aren’t any of you paying attention?  Don’t you know your history?  Don’t you get it?

The Republicans have been running elections on the idea that if the Democrat fails, they win.  It worked under Clinton.  But, in their 12 years of Congressional power, the nation began it’s free fall.  They have caused the jobs to be lost, the banks to fail and the poor to become poorer.

And, they don’t give a crap about you.

Do you think Sarah “You betcha” Palin in her expensive suits and with that $150,000 shopping spree gives a rat’s butt about those of us in the the bottom 99%?

Heck no.  It’s a load of bunk.  She cares about the 2012 election, when she’s planning on running and God help us all if she actually wins.

Do you think Rush “I’m rich and you’re not” Limbaugh gives a crap about America?  No, he doesn’t.  He’s been wishing failure on Obama’s Presidency since day one.  And, you should really keep this in mind, when the President fails, so does the nation.  Limbaugh, Mr. Draft dodger himself, proclaims to be a Patriot, but when you want the nation to fail, you’re a traitor, not a Patriot.

Do you think Glenn Beck cares about you?  No, he does ads for a gold company that is under investigation for ripping people off, so there’s another one who could give a crap about real, hard working Americans.  Further, the man is against Net Neutrality, which means he is simply a total moron or he seriously doesn’t care.

Do you think House Minority Leader John Boehner cares about you?  Well, he doesn’t – he’s calling to repeal the Wall Street Reform and he wants to raise the retirement age to 70, in order to pay for the War in Afghanistan.  Does that sound like someone who gives a rat’s rear end about you or me?

I love my country.  If I wasn’t a lesbian, I would’ve served in the military.  I believe we’re the greatest nation on earth, but if we send just one of those tea party candidates to Congress, then we have truly become a country of non-thinkers.  And, if we turn Congress over to the Republicans, well, it proves that we have drunk the kool aid.

Check the Facts

Like many people, I receive emails that proclaim complete lies as total truth and I spend time looking up the truth. When I send out a response, I back it up with the facts that I have gathered. Sometimes, I am able to research the email myself. I look at the government site or I check news stories. I usually get a response like, “Who said that?” (that’s what my mother always asks, as she doesn’t believe anything she doesn’t see on Fox News). I’ve even gotten a response that “we all can’t be the Queen of Information.” I chuckled at that one, as we all should be the “Queen of Information” (or, King – if you’re a guy).

Before you forward that email or proclaim a fact to someone that you read somewhere – do your homework.

I have found three sites that are trustworthy.

The first site is Break the Chain.  I’ve been using Break the Chain for quite a few years.  They specialize in those chain emails asking you to help find a lost child or telling you to boycott a store.  My favorite untruth is the email that claims the ACLU is against Marines praying.

The second site is Snopes.com – if you’re forwarding emails without checking them via Snopes, you’re doing a disservice to your friends, family members and the causes that which you support. Snopes checks out the crazy emails and checks if they are true, semi-true or outright falsehoods.  The best example of this is the email that claims Pepsi or Dr. Pepper (in some emails) is removing the words “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance on their cans.

The final site is Fact Check.  Fact Check checks political statements made by just about anybody.  They investigate, call people and get to the bottom of almost any political claim.  They get accused all the time of being too right wing and too left wing.  It all depends on the political stance of the reader.  They were at their best during the 2008 Presidential election when they were checking speeches by Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin daily.  They recently published an article against President Obama’s speech that blamed the GOP for blocking legislation that they didn’t block.  (Not for a lack of trying, however.)

These are three great sites you should have bookmarked.  When you receive an email that you plan on forwarding, take the time to make sure it is true.  Try not to fill up other people’s email boxes with junk.

Twisted Headlines

Yesterday on facebook, a co-worker of mine posted the following: “Obama skipping Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. ‘He’ll be on vacation in Chicago'”  You would think a comment like that couldn’t possibly start any trouble, could you?

Well, it went on and on.  There are actual news articles and blogs calling Obama out for sending Joe Biden in his place.  As it turns out, President Obama will be at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.  It’s not like, in the words of my co-worker, he’s spending the day at a waterpark.

You’re probably wondering why I am posting about a post from facebook and here’s why.  It bugged the heck out of me.  I couldn’t find much in the way of Presidents attending the Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington.  But, I did find out that Obama isn’t the first President to miss it.  When I pointed out that Bush II had missed to be in Normandy, France.  A person stated, “And it always goes back to Bush II for some reason….very interesting. The hatred for him knows no bounds”  And, proceeded to post Bush’s Normandy comments.

Here’s what bugs me:  Yes, I thought President George W. Bush was a bad President and, yes, I voted for Obama and I will be voting for Obama in 2012.  But, I don’t pull out something Bush had done and necessarily mean it was a bad thing.  And, can’t people say anything about Bush and not be accused of hating him?

In fact, I don’t even care that Bush went to Normandy, I was merely pointing out that this Presidential tradition had been broken before.  In fact, later in the day, I learned that Reagan missed in 1983 to attend an economic summit and Bush I missed to speak at an American Legion and then play golf.

So, I was thinking, Are we really that bad in this country that we infer or project how we think a person feels because we label them?  Some people think I’m a radical liberal — far from the truth — but does that mean that no matter what I say, they hear a radical liberal response?

Does that mean that we have stopped paying attention to each other?  I realize our pundits have completely lost their minds and stopped listening, but have the rest of us?  And, if we have, isn’t that the saddest thing ever?  How can we solve our country’s problems if we when hear an idea, we only agree if they’re a Conservative Republican or a Liberal Democrat?  Why are we so polarized when, except when driving a car, the middle of the road is usually the best place to be?

God Bless

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