Archive for the ‘Speeches’ Category
In the next few days, President Obama will unveil his jobs plan to the nation. In the short time since he announced his intention to talk about this new plan, the latest employment numbers have come out and they were not good. According to the August numbers, there was no change in jobs at all – zero. Whether this is good or poor timing for the White House remains to be seen. For instance, the President could use these numbers to his advantage and reach big. Most Democrats and economists certainly want this. However, there is always the possibility the President could play it very conservatively. He could rehash programs designed to spur job growth by emphasizing tax cuts and other breaks for businesses. In other words, small programs, little risk. This, however, would be a big mistake.
The plan the President is going to unveil is much more than a jobs plan – it is a lifeline for his Presidency. Recent high-profile retreats from EPA regulations, deficit measures, and tax cuts for the rich have infuriated most middle-class Americans. Many on the left and center are now openly questioning the President’s leadership and ability to take on a tough GOP opposition without simply caving. While this may or may not be entirely accurate is now not relevant. The media (left and right) have hammered on this over and over to the point where it has started to become mainstream thought. To counter this, the President must take bold action to spur job growth. He must take a risk.
Breaks to big business and banking have not added more working capital to small businesses in the form of lending nor have they encouraged most businesses to hire more people. It is up to the government to help hire Americans by creating a jobs program that rebuilds our national infrastructure, repairs our crumbling schools, creates a coast to coast rail and broadband internet initiative, and helps rebuild areas of our country decimated by natural disaster including – especially – New Orleans. Recent studies have shown that the US gets a D for overall infrastructure. That is an abysmal grade for one of the richest countries in the world. Unemployment remains at close to 9.2%. Why not create a bold jobs initiative that will not only help repair our country’s infrastructure but also reduce unemployment below 9%?
It’s not only the smart thing to do, for our crumbling infrastructure and schools, it is also the right thing to do – for our citizens and our economy.
There’s no polite way to put it: the GOP have literally gone off the deep end. In their efforts to appease businesses and the farthest right of their base, while they attempt to make President Obama fail at any cost, the GOP are literally throwing the country down the toilet. They now openly support corporations and their monied interests over the middle class. Rep Paul Ryan (R) wants to chuck Medicare out the window in favor of a system of private insurers and vouchers. Let me say that again – chuck medicare out the window – whilst giving the powerful insurance industry a huge new source of revenue that is sure to hurt the poor, elderly, disabled, and retired populace. Even for the GOP, this is radical.
In the mean time, the drum beats even louder for more and more cuts – with the biggest elephants in the room left untouched – corporate loopholes, generous energy policies and tax breaks for Oil, coal, and other industries, and tax breaks for the rich still intact.
Seriously? And the Democrats cry for (ahem) less cuts, but still advocate for cuts to programs for the poor and middle class. What the hell is going on here?
I am a Democrat and liberal through and through. But I think when President Obama agreed to a tax cut for the wealthy and then talks about everyone tightening their belts and that sacrifices have to be made, I cringe. In this particular instance, the President and Democrats have no more credibility on this issue than their GOP counterparts. How can I take President Obama seriously when he talks about cuts to medicare and other programs for disabled and poor and yet lets tax cuts for the wealthy stay?
Thankfully, in his latest speech, the President is sounding a different tune. He is gearing for a battle in 2012 to take away those corporate loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthy. Let’s see if he actually does it this time around.
Presidential Candidate John McCain and his running mate Governor Sarah Palin have sharply ratcheted up the rhetoric in recent days to near frenzy levels at many of their rallies. Palin has especially helped to exacerbate the situation by questioning Obama’s connections to terrorists and outright lying about his background. Rally attendees in the meantime have been heard to say, “kill him”, “bomb Obama”, “off with his head” (no kidding), and “terrorist”.
In a twist of irony, McCain had to defend Obama at a recent rally after two audience members mentioned their fear of an Obama Presidency. One of the two audience members even called Obama an “arab”. What is even more ironic than this is that McCain is proud of how he defended Obama against racist and life threatening comments – even though the McCain/Palin ticket is responsible for the frenzied crowd to begin with!
Make no mistake – McCain and Palin are horribly irresponsible in how they have handled live crowds that have threatened Senator Obama’s life while they simply smiled and carried on like nothing was happening. And for those of you thinking this is blown out of proportion, the Secret Service would disagree with you. They are investigating threats by McCain rally members against Obama.
And just when you think it can’t get any worse, McCain is claiming Obama rally members are “doing the same” against him (Obama) – a blatant lie.
Perhaps it is best for Senator McCain to keep in mind that Senator Obama is a US Senator – and not an enemy of the United States.
Tonight on Countdown, Rachel Madow put it best: They lie. Who “they” you ask? Republicans present at the Republican Convention, of course!
Barack Obama, according to Palin, never wrote a law, wants to raise your taxes, and has less experience than her. Obama, of course, has written laws, has promised to cut taxes on the middle class and raise them on the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the country, and has more practical experience than Palin.
Palin, according to pundits and even herself, fought corporate lobbyists, sold an airplane on Ebay, and said “no thanks” to the infamous bridge to nowhere.
Romney, in his speech, told Al Gore he needed to start saving the environment by grounding his private jet. One problem, Gore doesn’t own and has never owned a private jet. Ooops.
McCain, who decided that arguing against change is a bad idea has attempted to co-opt Senator Obama’s message of change. McCain, with little fervor, proclaimed he was the candidate of change and that he and Governor Palin represent the true chance at change in Washington since they are both Mavericks.
Lies, lies, lies.
It never ceases to amaze me that the attendees at the Republican convention can lie so easily. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – they’ve had a lot of practice over the years.
Governor Huckabee’s message of unity and change is touching. He thanks the liberal media for uniting the republican party, refers to reporting as tacky and talks about housing crisis, gas prices, and the need to change. “You want something to change,” was his mantra. But like most convention-going, fear spreading Republican participants, Huckabee plays the fear card by mentioning his list of “things that you don’t want to change”:
- the opportunity to prosper
Translation: Democrats won’t defend you, protect your rights, or favor trickle-down economics. Huckabee went further by calling Barack Obama’s overseas trip his “excellent adventure in europe”. Obama, as Huckabee would have you believe, brought back europeon ideas that could destroy our way of life or even our government!
Can you believe this? It’s just more of the same. Republicans don’t discuss the serious issues or their plans to improve the economy or handle the war in Afghanistan. Instead, they simply attack democrats as elite and out of touch. What a farce.
Maybe all the showers Huckabee took with lava soap affected his brain. That would explain why, once attending college, he realized that showers should not hurt.
For all those media analysts who think Joe Biden or Barack Obama should be ‘careful’ when discussing or debating Sarah Palin, I think that is clearly behind us now. Tonight, Sarah Palin put the gloves on and came out swinging. Her criticism of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and the Democratic party was harsh and absolute. I think it interesting that Palin – after attacking the Democratic ticket – extended the olive branch in seemingly unlikely fashion:
No one expects us to agree on everything.
But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and … a servant’s heart.
I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States.
These statements, given at the end of her speech seemed almost to reach across the aisle. However, after her prolonged attack on Obama, the Democratic ticket, and Democrats as a whole, it seems insincere at best.
Palin, it seems, is really good at following the party line and Republican-scripted attack used throughout the convention. For instance, Palin made sure to mention McCain’s POW experience and sacrafice prominently:
A fellow prisoner of war, a man named Tom Moe of Lancaster, Ohio, recalls looking through a pin-hole in his cell door as Lieutenant Commander John McCain was led down the hallway, by the guards, day after day.
As the story is told, “When McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn toward Moe’s door and flash a grin and thumbs up” – as if to say, “We’re going to pull through this.” My fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through these next four years.
Once again this transparent and obvious attempt to divert attention from the great issues of our time – which the Republican Party is great at – is revolting in the extreme. In particular, the convention focus on John McCain’s POW experience is – again – manipulative and sickening.
But Palin was not through beating us over the head with this issue. In case there was any doubt that she was sincere instead of politically shrewd and manipulative, Palin added:
There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you … in places where winning means survival and defeat means death … and that man is John McCain. In our day, politicians have readily shared much lesser tales of adversity than the nightmare world in which this man, and others equally brave, served and suffered for their country.
It’s a long way from the fear and pain and squalor of a six-by-four cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office.
I guess we have our answer: Politically shrewd and manipulative. Sadly, it is blatantly obvious that the single minded focus of the Republican Party in this election is to win by any means – even if that means manipulating McCain’s military service, distorting the facts, or frightening the voting public with talk of war and terrorism.
In fact, Palin and all the speakers tonight make it very clear that the politics of fear and division is their preferred method of campaigning, relating to the American people, and defeating their opponents. Palin and her colleagues attempt to instill this fear and division by mentioning 9/11 again and again, referencing McCain’s POW status and torture over and over again, and talking about the continued dangerous threat by terrorists – that could attack on our soil again.
But, in her attempts to convey this message to the American public, Palin faultered.
Palin is – to put it bluntly – factually challenged. But she was not alone. Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, and President Bush all seem to manufacture the truth – a Republican truth – not, of course, the actual truth.
But don’t take my word for it. The bipartisan group – FactCheck.org holds both parties accountable for their misstatements. Last night, they worked overtime to keep up with the misrepresentations and distortions of the Republican speakers.
My prediction is that Sarah Palin will keep FactCheck.org very very busy, indeed.
Republicans treat the current Bush Administration and Supreme court as a seething pile of liberal hackers! “We need change from a liberal Washington,” Romney stated, “to a conservative Washington”. Who does Governor Romney think fills the ranks of the Supreme Court? Who does Governor Romney thinks sits in the Oval Office? Bill Clinton?
Romney, Thompson, and his ilk play the smear politics that have powered the Republican Party for years. But this kind of power is an illusion. Sooner or later the Americans that they refer to see right through the politics of division and fear. Romney talked of Jihad, axis of evil, and war. He painted a picture to spread fear. But the American people are wise to this tactic. There is no color-coded chart listing a threat level that will save the Republicans this election – no matter how many times they mention Ronald Reagan, and the alleged Mavericks – McCain and Palin.
But, you have to give Romney points for trying! After all, he mentioned Ronald Reagan, McCain, and Palin in the same sentence.
Bravo Governor, bravo.