Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Tag: Obama

Obamacare and unAmerican Companies

Here’s a quick, yet truthful thought.  Every large company that is announcing cutting employees’ hours to avoid paying healthcare for them isn’t a company that should be held up in esteem.  It is a company who should be avoided as much as possible and derided for being unAmerican.

It is time the profit hogging corporate types and Wall Street bozos start taking care of business and the American Worker.  You break your back for forty years, do you get a pension?  Hell no, you probably don’t even get a watch.  You get a 401K that isn’t worth shit if the banks and Wall Street screw with the economoy, like they did in the run up to the crash of 2008.

Our health care system needs  a lot of changes.  We spend more than nearly every other developed country and, yet, we’re sicker than ever.  Part of this is that we don’t take care of ourselves and part of it is that companies don’t take care of employees.

I have healthcare.  I happen to have a skill set that will remain in demand probably until the day I die and beyond.  I am blessed because of this.  Many people – in fact, the majority of people – are not blest as I am.  I will not have to worry about health care, because I’ll never have to work for a company that doesn’t offer it.  Even when I worked as a contractor, because of my earning power and salary, I was offered health care paid for by the company – that doesn’t happen often in contracting jobs.

Don’t blame President Obama for forcing companies to do what they should’ve been doing all along.  The CEO has health care.  The President of the company has health care.  So should the workers on the floor who actually perform the duties that keep the company going.

The Republicans don’t understand this.

Fox News doesn’t understand this.

The people in the red states don’t understand this.

We do the work, we should reap the benefits.  The guy on top – he didn’t dig that ditch, put that car together, bake that pizza – the guy on top is receiving the big salary made possible by YOUR hard work.

Don’t forget that.

Youth Unemployment

This is an actual quote from Mitt Romney from Mitt Romney.com:

“I think this is a time when young people are questioning the support they gave to President Obama three and a half years ago. He promised bringing the country together; that sure hasn’t happened. He promised a future with good jobs and good opportunity; that hasn’t happened. And the pathway that he pursued is one which has not worked. Young people recognize that and I think that’s why they’re going to increasingly look for a different approach.” –Mitt Romney

Below the quote, there are links to the “facts” that support his data.  Two links to the same Time Magazine article written by Josh Sanburn (which I haven’t read) from February of this year,  there’s a couple of links to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website and some more links to articles .

Here’s the thing:  Mitt Romney is hoping that you won’t research any farther than that.  He’s hoping that he can convince you that President Obama hasn’t done enough and he’s handing you little tidbits that support his claim.

So, I did the research myself.  Below is a chart.  This is the annual unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) from 1948 until 2011. I’ve broken the data down by age: 16 – 24 and over 25.  The third line is the combined annual unemployment rate.  I obtained the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics site.  (Side note: If you love data, like I love data, you could spend hours on this site running queries!)

Here’s the thing:  Romney is trying to make you think that somehow our youth have it so much worse than the rest of us and President Obama is responsible for it.  However; the truth is that the unemployment rate for 16 – 24 year olds has always been higher than the unemployment rate for the rest of the population.

 

Annual Unemployment 1948 - 2011

Rick Santorum is a Horse’s Ass

Here is his quote:

President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard everyday and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor that (tries) to indoctrinate them.

Don’t we all want our children to go to college? Haven’t we learned that the majority of people who are unemployed are those with less than a college education? Our manufacturing jobs have gone overseas and they’re not coming back.

And, there’s a quote I want you to read:

“The unemployment rate among (the) non-college-educated is well into the double digits in America. It’s 4 percent or 5 percent for people who have college degrees.”

Who said that? Rick Santorum – the horse’s ass of the Republican Party. Surprised? I’m not. He can’t even keep his own quotes straight. In case you’re wondering, here are the breakdowns of the unemployment rates for January, 2012 by education:

Education Level Unemployment Rate
Less than High School 13.1%
High School/No College 8.4%
Some College / Associate Degree 7.2%
Bachelor’s and Higher 7.2%

How can you think anyone that wanting all of America to be college educated is a bad thing?

Cornel West Arrested Protesting on Supreme Court Steps

Yes, you read that headline right.  Cornel West, noted American Philosopher and Civil Rights proponent, was arrested for protesting on the steps of the Supreme Court.

Did you know that it is illegal to hold political signs on the steps of the Supreme Court? Neither did I, until I read this (see link). Excuse me, but isn’t the Supreme Court supposed to uphold the Constitution and isn’t freedom of speech the FIRST amendment?  How can it be ILLEGAL to protest ANYWHERE?

The Westboro Baptist Church – you know, those bigoted haters – are allowed to PROTEST at the FUNERALS of AMERICAN SOLIDERS!  It is THEIR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT.  This was upheld by the Supreme Court!

But, American Citizens are not allowed to protest against the Supreme Court decisions – such as the one where they declared Corporations to be human?  How is that possible in America?  How can that be in our great country?

Outrage with No Truth

I bought my mother a couple of economic books. I wanted her to understand just what is going on with the nation’s economy. She said they were too dry to read. Instead, she asked me to pick up Laura Ingram’s new book for her, which is a switch because she normally reads Bill O’Reilly. At least she hasn’t discover Ann Coulter and when she does, she will not get the book from me. Someone else will have to feed her right-wing, free from the truth book habit.

I don’t know why I bother torturing myself in this manner. Life is just easier all around if I don’t talk to her. My mother is like a lot of Americans out there today. She’s mad that the economy is in the toilet. Two of her children are suffering because of the bad economy. And, my mother is blaming the government, which is exactly what Fox News wants her to believe. Even my own father, who is normally very reasonable, blames Obama for the economy. He believes that Obama signed TARP into law. Even when I pointed it out to him that, no, Pop, that was Bush; he looked at me like I was speaking another language. When the truth is staring us in the face, we still don’t want to see it.

And, that’s the whole problem.

We don’t bother actually looking at facts and figures ourselves. We trust the wrong news media – one run by a man who decides what gets covered and what doesn’t. Yes, economic books can be dry, but why wouldn’t you want to take the time to read one to find out what all of this on the news means? Why wouldn’t you want to be able to understand how the world works without being told by someone else? Right or left, if you don’t really understand the issue, then you can’t figure out the bias and you don’t really understand what’s going on.

I know that I harp on this a lot, but it just drives me absolutely crazy.

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.

Obama’s DOMA Decision

Man, I’m torn.

On one hand, I’m thrilled that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is probably going down.  On the other hand, I’m not happy about the way it is going to happen.

Here’s the thing, Obama is just plain wrong.  Yes, DOMA is unconstitutional.  Yes, DOMA makes some citizens of the United States unequal to other citizens.  Yes, I want to see DOMA gone.

However; there is a larger and more important issue at stake here.

If the Department of Justice doesn’t defend attacks on our laws in court, then no law is sound.  As much as I like Obama, this is a serious oversight on his part.  I would think that someone who specialized in Constitutional law would’ve had a little more sight into the big picture.  Calling on the Justice Department to not defend DOMA is wrong.  It sends the wrong message on our Nation’s laws.  It will allow the next President to decide that he doesn’t like a law and tell the DOJ to not do their job to defend our Nation’s laws.

I’ve heard talk among gay people that Obama hasn’t done enough for us.  But, seriously, did anyone really cast their vote for Obama thinking that him being President would mean gays and lesbians would be allowed to legally marry?  I know I didn’t.

I, also, believe that at this moment in time, we have more pressing matters.  Our economy – though it is improving – needs more hand holding.  We need to put the money taken from Social Security and put it back in.  We need to improve our education.  Gay marriage is a little low on the list.

I know President Obama is a politician and politicians do things to gain political power or to make their base happy (Can anyone say Scott Walker and Koch Industries?), but I a truly disappointed in Obama.  I expected more from him than a cold bone that will harm our legal system for years to come.  I wanted the DOJ to defend DOMA to their best of their abilities and then lose because the law is morally bankrupt and unconstitutional.  I wanted a ruling that would stick for years to come, not a band aid.

Obama should’ve come up with a better way to do this.

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