Good Morning Bloggers - It's been an amazing first 100 days for our new President. I think he's done an amazing job, especially since he's had NO support from the Republicans despite weeks of butt kissing. The American people know how hard he's working, and it's now clear we're all expecting good results later this year and into next year. Let's all hope!
Oh yes, there are some who aren't hoping. You know, the patriotic, pro-American "conservatives" who called us ANTI-AMERICAN, surrender-happy liberals for years. I can't even remember all the horrible names they called us over the past few decades, but suffice to say there have been many and most have been pretty horrible. I think the most memorable "over-arching theme" used against us has been "unpatriotic and unAmerican." Those are the "labels" most of us on the Left remember most.
So, who's unAmerican now. Let's see, it's the Democrats who fought to reform most of what the Republicans broke. It's the Democrats who fought to stimulate the economy to get America back in the black. NO Republicans have supported any new initiatives so far. It's true, NONE!
Incredibly, it's also the Democrats who fought to fund potential viral pandemics, but who lost that funding in the stimulus package after Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his buddies filibustered it out of existence. Did you see Karl Rove and Sean Hannity screaming about the "waste" on pandemic funding just a couple months ago? Of course, they would prefer that you forget. Americans may die from this potential pandemic, and Republican "politics" may ultimately increase that total.
It's the Democrats who continue to fight to reform health care so that more Americans may survive all kinds of health problems, including a potential pandemic. The Republicans are doing everything they can stop the Democrats, siding with corporate interests and big pharmaceutical. Their entire position is bought-and-paid-for unlike the Democrats.
The only conclusion I can take away is that Republicans don't care about real Americans. Therefore, I think it's clear - or at least should be - that Republicans don't care about America. Republicans have forgotten something very important, which is that America is always about its people! Not charity, but fairness, decency, and equality, to name just a few. The GOP has lost its way on those key American values.
It's been 100 days of Republicans saying NO, NO, and NO to everything that's been discussed. When they don't get their way, they like to claim there was no bi-partisan cooperation. It's become obvious - my friends on Capitol Hill tell me - that if you don't go far enough their way they walk away. It's clear the GOP's idea of bi-partisanship is partisanship - do it their way or they take their toys and run home. It's now clear that Democrats are beginning to ignore their crap.
The first 100 days has also featured some of the most absurd media BS in the history of the Republic. FOX "News" and much of the corporate media has been pounding on Democrats who seek to enforce the law. The whole "Tea Party" debacle was embarrassing.
It's not just FOX, Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan have been pounding on guests for days on MSNBC. Anybody who dares to suggest that torture wasn't warranted and that laws have been broken is beaten to a pulp. I felt very bad for Jonathan Turley - the Constitutional professor - who got between them last week. The whole interview was a joke.
Matthews and Buchanan have been arbitrary for days, spewing all manner of crap. They keep taking the relative position that politics trumps actual law, and that only "banana republics" convict past governments for "policy differences." Turley was the only adult last week, and he would have shut them down for being aggressively stupid if they hadn't been so loud and obnoxious.
I say let's ignore the "Washington elite" made up of morons who like to hear themselves talk and focus on the good that's happening today. Let's keep focused on the First Family and the good politicians who seek to enforce the law (equal justice under law) and reform the government - so that it works for all Americans. They should be proud, and know they have our support.
Please keep up the good work! You have our blessing!
Monday's Political Rave - Michael
PS - I loved this list from the Huffington Post. I hope you enjoy it too. MB
1. Health Care: The Obama White House cleared an important hurdle in the health care reform debate when it appropriated $19 billion in the stimulus package to help implement an electronic medical record system. The money is paltry compared to the hundreds of billions set aside for an overhaul of the health care system in the budget. But officials inside and out of the White House say its significance is hard to overstate.
"We need to have health IT so we have a better idea both of what works but also... so people can share information," Zeke Emanuel, Obama's health care adviser told the Huffington Post in mid-March. "We are on our way in a way that we have never committed ourselves before."
2. Communications: A presidential campaign built on innovative messaging and advanced technology has, naturally, become a White House defined by similar characteristics. As such, the reach of the administration's new media efforts - from hosting online question-and-answer sessions with the president to publishing the first White House blog - has been as expected as appreciated. It's unfortunate, said one tech savvy Democrat, because the new policies have had tangible impacts. "The White House streams every event with the president on its website, even press events," he said. "It's remarkable because, this Sunday they held a swine flu press conference that ordinary people [including many who may have been personally nervous about the topic] were able to watch online... Before you had to wait for a readout or hope that CSPAN would cover it. This is one of those things that people don't quite understand the significance of."
3. Transportation: Since the passage of the economic stimulus package in mid-February, the Obama Department of Transportation has approved 2,500 highway projects. The movement of stimulus money out the door has been as swift as it has been effective: $9.3 billion has been spent in all 50 states. Touting its impact, DOT officials say 260,000 jobs are expected from this investment. And with competition for contracts fierce, the department is set to approve even more projects than previously envisioned. "There will be more money for additional transportation projects," said the official.
4. Education: Maligned for its handling of the financial and banking crises, the Obama Treasury Department has nevertheless implemented policies with real qualitative and quantitative impact on debt-burdened families. Chief among those was a $2,500 tax credit to help offset the cost of tuition (among other expenses) for those seeking a college education. Nearly five million families are expected to save $9 billion, according to Treasury officials.
5. Cars: The automobile industry at the White House and Congress's behest has undergone seismic structural changes, managerial reorganization, and massive cuts in employment. But for all the tough love, the president has put in place the framework for an industry recovery. Perhaps the most significant of steps was to allocate $2 billion in stimulus cash for advanced batteries systems. One high-ranking Hill aide called battery technology "the next big frontier" in the automotive world, adding that if the U.S. could dominate this market it would reclaim its perch as the world's premier car manufacturer.
6. Pakistan: Cognizant of a destabilizing situation in Pakistan, the administration's diplomatic team, with a major assist from Japan, secured $5 billion in aid commitments "to bolster the country's economy and help it fight terror and Islamic radicalism" within the country. The money, as Pakistan observers -- notably Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry - note, will prove instrumental in bringing the nation away from the brink of failure and increased Taliban control.
7. Cities: More than any prior president, Obama has put a spotlight on America's struggling cities, even creating an office of Urban Policy in the White House. It is the Justice Department, however, that lays claim to one of the most consequential of urban affairs achievements. Through the Recovery Act, DOJ secured $2 billion for Byrne Grants, which funds anti-gang and anti-gun task forces. The money, cut during the Bush years, is expected to have massive ramifications on inner-city crime and violence.
8. Engaging the Muslim World: While certainly discussed, foreign affairs experts insist that Obama's engagement with the Muslim world has been at once remarkable and under-appreciated. From the first interview with Al Arabiya to his Nowruz address to the Iranian people, to his proclamation that "American is not at war with Islam" during an appearance in Turkey, seasoned observers have been routinely impressed. "Through these [statements and interviews]," said one Democratic foreign policy hand, "He has been able to dramatically change America's image in that region."
9. Forests: Since taking office, the White House has put under federal protection more than two million acres of wilderness, thousands of miles of river and a host of national trails and parks. The conservation effort - the largest in the last 15 years - came with the stroke of a pen when Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 in late March.
10. Tone: Leaving a meeting at the White House on Tuesday a progressive member of the House of Representatives commented to the Huffington Post just how impressed she was with the president's manner. "He is so calm," said the member, "and has a great ability to make you feel like you're being respected and listened to."