President Obama’s Weekly Address

This should be subtitled the Good News/Bad News Scenario.
Well he’s letting us know the economy is in the crapper! He’s saying he showed up on Day One with things worse than ever. He’s telling us things will deteriorate before they level off. We’ve been warned. This address is total CYA for him and putting those politicians that would try to thwart his plans on notice. 
I recall the Republican talking points up until their Convention from their candidate John McCain stating the fundamentals of the economy were strong (and still claiming it mid-September when the ish started hitting the fan). I remember #43 telling us it was just a hiccup, a slow down. Mistakes are one thing, but they were lying and dumped everything onto Obama. I shudder to think what would be happening right now if it was McCain/Palin in office. No matter what Obama does – or doesn’t do – the bar has been set so low a mediocre Obama would still run circles around #43. Isn’t that just pathetic!
I’m all for accountability, but I find it very telling that a real plan for destruction and disruption that the Republicans and their infiltrators (agenda traitors) in the Democratic party are planning is fully present and visible. If the horse has run off and is heading towards a brick wall how can you claim you’re controlling it or that it’s not loose. Once the horse has been corralled and someone else has the reigns how can you then claim you have ideas about how to lead that horse to water? You had free reign for 8 years! If you couldn’t figure it then what makes you think ANYONE will believe you have any idea what you’re talking about NOW?! Too much greed, too much spending and living beyond our means has brought us here.  
Everything Obama’s saying about wanting to mend what I’m calling, The Great Big Financial Catastrophe sounds good. Unlike the Depression in 1930’s wealthy people today have made sure to modify the laws to protect their financial interests by and large. So the majority of people going down will be the working class. The working poor are already screwed. 
At least he’s speaking to the people directly instead of mumbling about abstractions to the press and claiming unqualified appointees are doing a “heck of a job”. I do believe that #44 wants to do the right thing. I haven’t seen any evidence that Obama is personally motivated by greed, avarice or ideology. If he didn’t think he could do the job he would not have run. 
I just don’t underestimate the obstacles we’ll all have to climb to get over to the other side. If enough people want real change they will make personal modifications and adopt a shift in attitude. Everyone is not going to be helped in the way they want. That American Dream fantasy was always a lie. People have to stop spending money they don’t have and live with less. Of course that will affect consumer-based retailers and other companies that depend on us buying every new gadget annually. It was never necessary and it needs to stop. Nor will I dismiss those shifty tendencies of  shady politicians looking to line their pockets or those easily influenced by evil. We’re watching. 

Bookmark and Share

More Inaugural Week Video: Pelosi Meet Up

This was recorded at the brunch thrown by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for California constituents who were still in town the day after the Inauguration. It’s a little choppy in parts because I was dodging other people who were moving in and out of position. She relays a a funny moment about seeing #43 off in the helicopter and her enthusiasm for #44 is evident. I do remember that she is politician though and take all that charm with a grain of salt. Studying how people attain and wield power and influence should be required learning for all of us!

Here are some photos from the event. 
IMG_0122IMG_0185IMG_0186IMG_0172IMG_0171
We still need more of the pols to sign up for Twitter accounts and join TweetCongress! Even if it’s being monitored by interns we need a direct point of contact.

More Inaugural Week Video: Pelosi Meet Up

This was recorded at the brunch thrown by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for California constituents who were still in town the day after the Inauguration. It’s a little choppy in parts because I was dodging other people who were moving in and out of position. She relays a a funny moment about seeing #43 off in the helicopter and her enthusiasm for #44 is evident. I do remember that she is politician though and take all that charm with a grain of salt. Studying how people attain and wield power and influence should be required learning for all of us!

Here are some photos from the event. 
IMG_0122IMG_0185IMG_0186IMG_0172IMG_0171
We still need more of the pols to sign up for Twitter accounts and join TweetCongress! Even if it’s being monitored by interns we need a direct point of contact.

RNC Appoints First Black Chair: Strom Thurmond Rolls in His Grave!

Well symbolism is a powerful thing! We have our first Black President and in an effort at keeping up (appearances) the Republicans have just elected the first Black Chairperson for their National Committee. Progress indeed! 91-77 is close. What, Condi wasn’t available? Michael Steele, the current Chair of GoPac will now oversee how the Republicans present their image to the public in order to remain relevant to voters. When Sean Hannity endorses you, I guess it’s a foregone conclusion. It’s all about the power baby! 
Now we’ll see what overtures are made versus what policy changes are implemented (or blocked). He is a self-professed Lincoln Republican and seeing how our new President invoked Lincoln – even going as far as to swear on the bible used by Lincoln – hopefully they can find some common ground. It should not include attacking poor women of color and limiting their family planning choices, the continuation of the separate but equal marriage vs. civil union argument along gender lines or union busting.  It should not include the use of divisive language by candidates inflaming racial animus amongst the hordes. 
The Republican party has a serious credibility problem right now. Conservative values and fiscal responsibility may be the main talking points of the party but its leadership has engaged in anything but. Talk is cheap. Not that the Democrats are much better, but there are actual leaders in that party who are women as well as people of color. The RNC is at its most vulnerable right now and its members are clearly scared, though they wouldn’t dare admit it. We’ll see if a man who is unelectable as of late has the support to rebuild the party – or if he’s just serving as window dressing in an attempt at fooling people. We know a Black face in a high place means little. 
For those of us who wish to strategize and consolidate a small but powerful group whose needs will be addressed, this is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of. The masses may get involved in fighting for crumbs and complaining about how imbalanced things are but we need to move beyond that and be like the few who are always taken care of despite party affiliation. This might be the time for a few politically conscientious objectors to switch parties – or at least attend some meetings to get a feel for things! 
Like I’ve stated I want the Obama Administration to be very successful in addressing the needs of those who’ve been disenfranchised and ignored. In order for that to happen we need people to be the impetus to set an agenda and put it forward in a strategic and carefully implemented way. No amount of protests or rallies or poison pen antics is going to work. I don’t think #44 would be opposed to more liberal policies IF there is sufficient political currency stored up and ready to be cashed, but he’s not going to jeopardize his reelection efforts. He’s playing it safe – too safe – but we know this and can work around it if we plan accordingly.
We know the Republicans (and some Democrats) are set to walk lock-step in opposing anything he wants to get done that isn’t a continuation of their failed agenda. We need to create a net to contain this. We cannot have a repeat of Bill Clinton’s first term where they took control of the House and then the Senate and stonewalled the best of his policies. He didn’t help matters with his personal failings and threw a lot of qualified Black women under the bus. He implemented a lot of policies that actually hurt Black people and had he been a Republican in office more people would’ve been paying attention. Instead some claimed he was “one of us”. Stupid, stupid stupid!!! 
Not that we’re going to agree on everything, but there are some core basics that have been left by the wayside. We must preserve 2010 to get to 2012. We must use the Republican upheaval to our advantage and put those Blue Dog Democrats out to pasture once and for all!

Bookmark and Share

Old School Friday

This week’s meme is remakes and originals. I watched some of the Ted Haggard media blitz earlier and between wanting to gag, I was angry that yet another woman feels so tied to retaining the title of MRS to a wretched man that the whole idea of feminism seems even more of a fallacy to me. I immediately thought of storms and chaos, then the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water came to mind. The original is a Simon & Garfunkel classic, but Aretha Franklin takes it in an entirely different direction. I also love Eva Cassidy’s version. Happy Friday!

Bookmark and Share

Obama Signs Ledbetter Act Into Law: Women Cheer!

Do ya think some of the carping from certain entitled women will forever be silenced now that #44’s first legislative signature is for a step towards compensation equality? Probably not, but they’ll look a little more ridiculous in the future. I received an email from Kristen @ MomRising with this photo of her and Lilly Ledbetter at the White House this morning: 

“Passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act reverses a bad U.S. Supreme Court decision that made it impossible to win pay descrimination cases that were filed after 180 days of the pay being set–an important fix to a critical problem, but it doesn’t solve the entire problem of unfair pay practices. We have a long way to go.”

We can send a thanks to the members of Congress that supported this legislation, overturning the obstacles presented by the Bush Administration, Republicans and a rather partisan Supreme Court. The President and First Lady both addressed this landmark moment.
U.S. President Barack Obama gestures in front of bipartisan ...
“Making our economy work means making sure it works for everyone,” Obama said. “That there are no second-class citizens in our workplaces, and that it’s not just unfair and illegal — but bad for business — to pay someone less because of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion or disability.”  Source
First lady Michelle Obama speaks as Lilly Ledbetter looks on ...

First Lady Michelle Obama, in a separate reception with Ledbetter in the State Dining Room, praised her courage and principles. “She knew unfairness when she saw it, and was willing to do something about it because it was the right thing to do — plain and simple,” Mrs. Obama said.  Source
Remember it was John McCain, a man who lives off the wealth of his wife, said women didn’t need equal pay they needed more “education”. Of course who’s going to be paying for that education was never addressed. For women who never marry their earning power is directly tied to what Social Security and other retirement benefits they may (or may not) receive should they not be able to claim a spouse’s earnings. This is another benefit of marriage as legally defined in its current configuration and why same gender relationships will have to be reevaluated. Black women will be especially hit hard should they face retirement on reduced earnings (somewhere in the 55-62 cents range per every dollar earned by a white male), with no spousal compensation and having spent a lot of their resources caring for others. 
White House photos from Reuters & AP

Bookmark and Share

Why Are So Many Companies Going Under?

Can we got some detailed explanations from economists WTH is going on with the economy?! I do NOT understand why all of these companies from Circuit City to Yahoo to the friggin’ Postal Service are reporting millions – and billions – in losses! What have they been doing the past 8 years? This isn’t all about bad mortgages and bank mergers either. I suspect this is the result of rampant greed that went unchecked and false religiosity cloaked in ideology by a lot of dishonest people.
It’s no coincidence these companies are hitting the bricks right at the beginning of the new Democratic Administration. You know #43 and his cronies and lapdogs have been hiding all the crap under the floorboards, way back in the closet and the levees are about the break (again). Why should #44 be considered a failure for not being able to waive a magic wand over all of this?! It’s a no-brainer that infrastructure should be part of the economic relief package because it’s BROKEN! You can’t build on quicksand
Tax breaks for the wealthy will do nothing for those of us on Main Street….or the Alley. This is so far from over it’s down right frightening. I sincerely hope all those blocking solutions because of partisan politricks get voted out of office. **Ah-nold still hasn’t managed to get his Rethug legislators in line to agree on a budget for California either. No state grants for school or tax refunds. It must be nice to be really wealthy but so divested from concern about the average wage-earner. Ah, but the let them eat cake motto led to a revolution.

Bookmark and Share

President Carter on Current Events & President Obama

CNN aired the President Jimmy Carter interview on Larry King yesterday. I admit I have a soft spot for Carter who seemed like a nice man who got the shaft because he has scruples and didn’t play into racial stereotypes. This is the man who infamously told Clinton to curtail his zipper problem so it wouldn’t negatively impact the country. Supposedly Clinton didn’t appreciate it and despite rumors to the contrary Carter claims they’re friendly. Body language might suggest otherwise. Sometimes we need to remember to be humble, no matter what our position on the world stage may be. We see where that lead: from one unpleasant scenario into complete chaos! Now that the country has experienced what life is like under the hard right regime and more and more companies will go under, perhaps we will rethink how ideology causes more harm than good. I’m far more liberal than our current President but he definitely has the ability to reach out to people I’d just as soon spit at. So I’m glad for a reasonable, nuanced and intelligent leader for a change. Now we have to make sure the truly progressive voices don’t get drowned out by the more combative elements circling. 

Bookmark and Share

Unfiltered Views on the (Latest) Middle East-Related Conflicts

I don’t expect to see this being critically examined on my nightly news. Dismiss it if you will but this is definitely food for thought. Particularly in light of the economic instability spending $9B + annually on military aid for other nations is costing US taxpayers. Amongst other expenditures. We are responsible for allowing our gov’t to do things in our name – especially as it begins to negatively impact a large portion of its citizens. 
There are some people who won’t get overly emotional about taking a viewpoint one way or the other. As a Black person of American descent I’d like to ask what’s in it for me and mine? What alliances have been negotiated that proves worthiness for my support? If I was in need of serious help and a place of refuge who and want entity could I count on? There’s many citizens around the world who need assistance – some from my very own gov’t! We should be the priority.
Some think a foreign country who wants to engage in armed conflicts should be paying for it themselves. Anything that important with those type of ramifications should be engaged very carefully. Especially considering yesterday’s friend is today’s enemy and such. I’d like to see an end to the rhetoric and double-speak and definitely the blank checks. It’s nothing personal. We are seeing what happens when we leave our futures to the whims of others. We don’t necessarily have the same interests and to pretend otherwise for a grand gesture will not clothe or feed us when things hit the skids.
Ron Paul discussing political fall-out from gov’t meddling.
Israeli solider discussing his disagreement with his gov’t and why.

Bookmark and Share

So Now the Rethugs Are Concerned About the Budget?!

President Barack Obama is pictured alongside House Speaker Nancy ...
It’s day 8 of the Obama Administration. He was sworn-in approximately one week ago. The President wants a huge stimulus package to make it’s way through Congress so he can sign it into law. The economy is in the toilet. While politicians want to add pork and hem and haw over semantics they are still being paid or come from family money. That does nothing for the ever-growing list of unemployed as more companies lay off workers and try to stay solvent. 
When the Bailout plan was initiated last fall, people were rightfully outraged. It was falsely rebranded as a “Rescue” package. As we see the only thing that happened was large corporations and their lobbyists got a very generous parting gift from Shrub. None of that money went to the people. President Obama is using diplomacy and perhaps “begging” all members of Congress to vote for his bill. He isn’t threatening martial law – unlike #43. 
So why aren’t the Republicans getting on board with this economic recovery plan? Why am I hearing the same rhetoric of how Democrats are “tax and spend” – minus the Republican motto of “fiscal conservation”? Well, they can’t claim it anymore. Shall we do the math? The costs of the world domination agenda is very pricey. Iraq has cost us at least 1 Trillion – and counting.   Add to that the Republican-led deregulation efforts of the banking industry and you see why we are here in this mess. 
Yes, individual people overextended themselves and need to clean up their financial messiness. But you couldn’t spend on credit unless you were given credit to begin with. The financial institutions made a fortune putting as many people into as much debt as possible. They set the prices for homes and intentionally over-inflated their value to bundle the mortgages and sell them. They offered those shady mortgages. It was the two-fold punch of exchanging paper with no real value, spending all the money in the piggy bank on war mongering and borrowing money from Saudi Arabia and China. 
Oh the Dumbocrats have to take their share of the blame as well, but the rampant disregard for any common sense or sound fiscal principles lay solely at the feet of the political party large and in charge for 8 years. I want to keep a list of all the members of Congress who support and don’t support Obama’s plan. Don’t try to hold it up because you don’t want a woman to have access to birth control pills or want $3M for a toilet. If it passes and is successful then President Obama has his first victory; if they can kill the bill on the floor it will be a setback. These politicians are forgetting something in their political posturing: their constituents are going down the toilet. They will not forget who stood in the way of them getting relief. Relief that had been promised by the last Administration but was not delivered. 
If the Rethugs (from Senator John McCain to Rep. Dave Camp) were so concerned about the budget and debt where we they nine days ago? One month ago? One year ago? They stood by and did nothing. So I don’t want to hear any of their BS now! Just sign off on the bill. If it doesn’t work it will be egg on the President’s face and he can fail all on his own. Of course I don’t think Obama would put a grossly flawed plan together. I would not underestimate him or rule out him playing hardball. He’s not quite the Magic Negro some may think. 2010 and 2012 is not that far away and they need a reminder they may not be in office if they keep this up! 
I urge everyone to contact their elected officials and gently remind them who they’re supposed to be working for! We need an additional extension of unemployment benefits, students need their financial aid for school, free clinics must remain open, the banks are supposed to be lending money freely again! It’s time to get with the program. He won – now move on!  
Update: From The Field blog: How Obama is setting up a GOP Fall.
Reuters photo of the President, Speaker Pelosi & House Minority Leader John Boehner 

Bookmark and Share