Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’
Here is some information and here is a video about President Obama’s proposed budget:
Here is a video about the cuts:
Many Democrats are not happy (though Democratic leadership is starting to get behind it). Many Republicans are also not happy. But of course Democrats in power must embrace it and Republicans must knock it. That’s politics. I think the fact that a lot of the left is pissed shows that a serious effort was undertaken to make cuts.
It’s often said that the best compromises are those that leave both sides wanting more, so on that note this seems to have struck that sort of balance, though Republican criticisms seem a little harsh when Obama is cutting some of Democrats’ favorite programs.
This obviously isn’t the end of this story, but we have an interesting start.
Enjoy Chicago Code if you’re not already.
Before the Super Bowl, which was a solid game, President Obama sat down with Bill O’Reilly. He spoke about Egypt, saying they will certainly change but we can’t dictate what they do. When asked about the judge’s ruling on health care reform, Obama said he disagrees with the judge and doesn’t want to continue fighting the battles of the last two years while championing some of the better parts of the bill. I do like at about the 7:00 mark how Obama makes the argument that the mandate is about responsibility. Obama also talked about his idea of winning the future in various ways. There is also an interesting point at 9:45 when Obama talks about the things that reach his desk. It’s definitely worth a listen.
Enjoy contemplating how long it will be before the next NFL game.
President Obama has a new site that allows you to track the progress we’ve made by your location (if you want you can check their numbers going through their sources by clicking on the source).
You can sniff around and see what you see, but to make it easier I’ll do a rundown of some major areas:
- 41,000 South Dakota residents will now have access to affordable health care because of reform
- 10,169 South Dakota seniors benefited from additional coverage when Democrats closed the Medicare donut hole
- 67,000 South Dakotans age 26 or younger can now stay on their parents’ health care coverage
- 217,000 families in South Dakota will receive tax credits and other assistance because of health care reform
- 46 community clinics were created in South Dakota by the Affordable Care Act
- 23,100 small businesses in South Dakota eligible for health care tax credits under the Affordable Care Act
- 300,000 middle class families in South Dakota received a tax cut through the Recovery Act
- 16,859 new hires in South Dakota for which their emploiyer may be eligible for a tax cut through the HIRE Act, which Democrats passed to promote private-sector job growth
- 9,000 jobs created or saved through October 2010 in South Dakota because of the Recovery Act
- 217,00 families that get health care help (mentioned above)
Economy and Jobs
- 9,000 jobs created or saved (mentioned above)
- 2,215 South Dakota residents who receive relief because Democrats extended Unemployment Insurance
- 300,000 middle class tax cuts (above)
- 23,100 small businesses eligible for health care tax credit (above)
- 23,100 small businesses eligible for health care tax credit
- 70,000 loans issued to small businesses through the Small Business Administration Recovery loan provisions (nationally)
- There is also a list of tax cuts for small businesses (8 listed, though it says Democrats have enacted more than a dozen tax cuts for small businesses)
- 500 education jobs in South Dakota have been saved because of the deficit-neutral state-aid bill Democrats passed
- $5,975 can be received from Pell Grant scholarships by 2017 for eligible students
- 23,000 South Dakota families received college tuition help in 2009 from the American Opportunity Tax Credit
- $130,165,683 invested in higher education in South Dakota over the next 10 years
- 31 Department of Energy Recovery Act projects in South Dakota that will help secure our energy future
- 1,809 South Dakota homes weatherized through the Energy Department between February 2009 and September 2010, reducing energy bills and increasing energy efficiency
- $74,900,000 invested in South Dakota through the Recovery Act for clean-energy projects
There are also stories from South Dakotans about how policies have benefited them. Here is one from Kayla in Brookings, SD:
When Kayla was just 9 years old, she was in a motorcycle accident. While her insurance plan covered her medical expenses, she contracted chronic osteomyelitis, a chronic bone infection. Since contracting the disease she has had over 25 surgeries on her leg. Kayla is now 22 years old and a full time nursing student at South Dakota State University, but in five months, she would have lost her coverage. The new law will make it possible for Kayla to remain on her parents’ plan.
There are other things and stories you can explore, but this should give you an idea of what there is. I think it was a good idea to lay it out state by state (or in larger states, by congressional district).
Enjoy the tolerable weather.
It sort of seems as though we’ve just been biding our time to react to the situation in Egypt, but we one (sort of):
The reaction is measured and cautious. The reactions of others have been, um, less measured. Here is a favorite quote about what the Egypt unrest could lead to, involving three world powers:
One, a Muslim caliphate that controls the Mideast and parts of Europe. Two, China, that will control Asia, the southern half of Africa, part of the Middle East, Australia, maybe New Zealand, and God only knows what else. And Russia, which will control all of the old former Soviet Union bloc, plus maybe the Netherlands. I’m not really sure. But their strong arm is coming. That leaves us and South America. What happens to us?
If you’re wondering who could conjure something like this out of a country’s attempt to gain democracy, you should know better by know. Imagining the statement on a chalkboard may help. Yes, Glenn Beck said it.
Just watch this video, then try and tell me this guy is stable enough to teach us history/predict the future:
There is fire everywhere! And apparently radical Islamist(ists?) and Marxists are combining, and as a result, the world will implode. If you can follow his various streams of consciousness, congratulations? But it’s easy to see why a lot of people haven’t been tuning in recently
Here is a pretty good breakdown of the differences between 1979 Iran and current Egypt.
The salon article also had a lot of interesting reactions from other Republicans. It’s either we need to support democracy (which seems logical) or we need to fear Muslims. Republican Rep. Peter King seems to be the most fearful. From Salon:
Finally, at home, where House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., will hold hearings to investigate the influence of radical Islam on America – King refers to American Muslims as the “enemy living amongst us” — a study by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security reports that the number of Muslim-Americans who committed or were arrested for terrorist crimes has dropped by almost 60 percent since 2009, to just 20 last year. Maybe more important, according to Think Progress, tips from Muslim Americans led to a terrorist plot being thwarted in 48 of 120 cases involving Muslim Americans, according to the study.
I think The Onion News Network (now on IFC on Fridays) has an awesome video about what seems to be the attitude of people like King:
A person could write about this all night, and I feel I haven’t done enough, but I must run. I’m sure we’ll continue talking about this for quite some time.
After President Obama’s speech, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan will deliver a rebuttal. It is a difficult job to do and is often only remembered if it is bad. It is expected that Ryan will focus on fiscal issues.
I am super excited about this. Who knows what she’ll say? Will she mention Kenya? Maybe she’ll go on a diatribe against Muslims and claim Obama is one of them. Perhaps she’ll talk about the dreaded re-education camps. Either way, I’m sure it will be awesome.
This should trouble Republicans, as it is more evidence of the rift between the Republican leadership and the Tea Party that is largely responsible for the mid-term success Republicans had. It may serve to demonstrate the differences between what Bachmann lovers and establishment Republicans believe.
I, for one, hope Bachmann is full out crazy. If she is, it will only serve to overshadow Ryan’s rebuttal and bring the focus to the fracture in the Republican party.
Of course, I could be reading this wrong. I guess there is a chance that Bachmann’s speech will bring more focus to the rebuttals in general, taking away from Obama’s speech. It’s even possible that Bachmann will dial it down (ha). Any way you look at it, it at least serves to make the night more interesting.
Enjoy the show.
Politifact’s Obameter is a useful tool for seeing the progress the president has made on things he has pledged to do. Here is how it’s going so far:
The Obameter Scorecard
- Promise Kept 134
- Compromise 41
- Promise Broken 34
- Stalled 75
- In the Works 220
- Not yet rated 2
Of course, not all promises are made equal, and liberals may be upset at the fact that someone like Dick Cheney is pleased with Obama’s effort on national security. You could also argue that he has done enough good to offset the bad. At this point I would like to focus on one promise he made on which he still has a lot of work left.
Clearly I’m talking about an NCAA football playoff. I’ve written about this idea before, so you should know I’m all about it. But our president has been dragging his feet on supporting this necessary change to the NCAA football post-season, receiving a “Stalled” rating from politifact. I’m not a guy that thinks non-BCS conferences schools get screwed (try a conference schedule), but the BCS is garbage.
Enjoy checking the meter for more important things.
The START Treaty, an arms control act between the U.S. and Russia, was ratified in the Senate with 13 Republicans joining the Democrats. From the LA Times:
Under the treaty, Russia and the United States agree to limit the number of nuclear warheads to 1,550 each, down from the ceiling of 2,200. The pact also establishes a system for monitoring and verification. The treaty was signed by Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on April 8.
Also from the LA Times:
The partisan politics of ratification were clear in the debate. In his comments, Cornyn mentioned the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Obama in the early days of his administration. The citation praised Obama for creating a new climate in international politics, Cornyn noted.
“You ask what is the relevance of this to consideration to the START treaty,” Cornyn chided. “I fear that the New START treaty will serve as another data in a narrative of weakness, pursuing diplomacy for its own sake or indulging in a utopian dream of a world without nuclear weapons divorced from hard reality.”
Cornyn closed by urging defeat of the START agreement to prove that the era of “unilateral American concessions is over.”
That’s right, we’re making unilateral concessions, like requiring Russia to also reduce their nuclear weapons. Wait. What?
And it’s so scary to only have 1,550 nuclear warheads. How can we ever destroy the world with only 1,550 nuclear warheads. Wait. What?
I think the main problem Republicans are having with this bill is that it’s yet another lame duck victory for President Obama and Democrats. Man, if only the Democrats had pretended they were a lame duck group the last two years, who knows what they could have accomplished?
Enjoy it while it lasts.
Making politically tough decisions to keep us going.
The first article is about how Obama’s policies have saved our system and the second, obviously, is about how Obama was right and no one seems to notice.
Enjoy his success, right?
Salon has a few different stories over the last few days detailing some lies people are believing because they’ve been repeated so often. It’s the same effect that had people thinking the grandparents were going to be killed by death panels. When people on TV say something enough, other people will believe it.
Gene Lyons’ article lists some of these misconceptions, and it really illustrates Obama’s problem. Many people believe things that just aren’t true (such as the notion that their taxes went up). This is easily proven false, though the information doesn’t seem to sway many minds. But other things people hate, such as the deficit, TARP, wars, and the auto industry bailouts, were started by someone else (which I’ll say since there’s such knee-jerk reaction to the actual name). One of his problems is that he gets killed when he points out that he inherited much of this mess. He’ll get killed for playing the blame game.
Another problem is that since he’s been president, many of the things he’s done or taken over, have worked. But these things have horrible name recognition from people just repeating bad things about them. Take the stimulus, for instance. Everyone assumes it’s bad and it’s used in negative ads constantly, but the CBO now estimates it saved 3 million jobs. Think of how bad things could be. But, Lyons points out, “‘Things could have been much worse’ isn’t much of a campaign slogan.” Lyons article is definitely worth a read.
Steven Kornacki tackles some other myths in his piece. Here’s the myths he covers:
1. The decline in Obama’s public standing — from an approval rating over 70 percent when he started out to 44 percent in the latest Gallup poll — represents a broad popular rejection of his liberal ideology or a colossal failure of messaging, strategy and legislative prioritizing on the White House’s part (or both).
2. The Tea Party represents a new force in American politics and its candidates have only helped the GOP.
The idea for the first myth is that his numbers are exactly what you’d expect considering the economy when he took over. And the idea behind the second is that any time a Democrat is elected the conservative base of the GOP gets pissed and active, and that they have hurt the GOP. The only difference this time is that they have a name. These two sentences don’t do his article justice, so you should check it out yourself.
Enjoy the NBA, the World Series, the NFL, and college football all at the same time. It’s a great time to be a sports fan.
This is a question posed in a recent article by Michael Cooper. And it is an interesting question.
I guess the answer is that a ton of people who had their taxes cut assume they were raised because that’s what Republicans want them to believe. Then many of these people go an protest unfair taxes while not sensing the irony of protesting the same person who just lowered taxes for 95% of Americans.
It’s so fun to crap on the stimulus (though it worked), but it is odd that conservatives and tax cut lovers failed to notice that much of it (roughly a third, according to the article) was made up of tax cuts. Somehow the supposed liberal media has failed to impede the Republican narrative that Democrats raised everyone’s taxes, though it’s not true.
A big reason the tax cut went unnoticed was how it was carried out.
Actually, the tax cut was, by design, hard to notice. Faced with evidence that people were more likely to save than spend the tax rebate checks they received during the Bush administration, the Obama administration decided to take a different tack: it arranged for less tax money to be withheld from people’s paychecks.
They reasoned that people would be more likely to spend a small, recurring extra bit of money that they might not even notice, and that the quicker the money was spent, the faster it would cycle through the economy.
The Obama administration purposely made it smaller hoping that they would stimulate the economy. Whether or not this tact worked is debatable, but I respect the decision to give it a try knowing the political gains would be less.
Enjoy knowing how many people think the opposite.
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