Tag Archives: Obama

Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum Nearly Agreed To Form 2012 ‘Unity Ticket:’

Oh, this would have been fun!

Only the GOP could view this as a “Unity Ticket”….

It would have unified the country alright- against their ticket and given President Obama a real landslide….

From Bloomberg BusinessWeek via Huffington Post:

Pegged as an early frontrunner for the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination, the Republican primary results were showing a different picture. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) claimed the Iowa caucus and a clean sweep of three Feb. 7 contests. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) snagged the conservative foothold of South Carolina on Jan. 21, sparking questions of whether Romney was capable of inspiring the party to victory against President Barack Obama.

A Friday Bloomberg Businessweek report reveals that things could have been worse. Santorum and Gingrich were close to forming a “Unity Ticket,” aimed at knocking Romney out.

Santorum’s stock surged after that February 2012 rally, to a point where there was talk he could capture Romney’s home state of Michigan. According to the Businessweek report, that’s when the “Unity Ticket” discussion reached its peak. But negotiations collapsed just before Michigan’s Feb. 28 primary.

“Everybody thought there was an opportunity,” John Brabender, Santorum’s chief strategist, told Businessweek. “It would have sent shock waves through the establishment and the Romney campaign.”

At the heart of the Gingrich-Santorum breakdown was a battle over who would be the eventual presidential candidate. Based on what Gingrich told Businessweek, it appeared to be a deal-breaking factor.

“In the end, it was just too hard to negotiate,” Gingrich said.

MORE:  Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum Nearly Agreed To Form 2012 ‘Unity Ticket:’ Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Was Jesus Lily-White? Race and the Mormon Religion

Race, Politics and Religion….

Three of the most volatile topics in the world, and all addressed in this fascinating article by Jamie Reno in “The Daily Beast” with author Edward Blum’s thoughts on the impact of the various perceptions of Jesus’ race and appearance on the Presidential Campaigns.  Blum is the co-author of the upcoming book “The Color of Christ”, which I just pre-ordered from Amazon.com.

This particular article on race, Mormonism and how Romney and President Obama view Jesus really is worthwhile reading.  And I’ve spent enough time in Salt Lake City to know people really should take a hard look at the Mormon view on race.  Among other things…..

This is just one topic the book addresses.  I can’t wait to read the entire book on the bigger context of the perceived Color of Christ and it’s role in American history.

Here is a brief excerpt and a link to the full, fairly short article.

So what does Blum think Obama would say if he were asked if Jesus were black? And what does he think Romney would say if he were asked if Jesus were white?

“I think Obama would say that the United States is too diverse for any one color to be recognized as the color of Christ or God,” he says. “Obama has stressed that the Golden Rule is his main political lesson from Jesus. I rarely hear Romney mention the Golden Rule in his political positions.”

Blum believes Romney would have a harder time with the question of Jesus’ skin color. “The problem with this question would be intense for Romney because God has a body in Mormon theology, just as humans do,” Blum says. “God and his son Jesus are described as white by the Mormon prophets and in the paintings.”

via Was Jesus Lily-White? Author Edward Blum Discusses Race and the Mormon Religion – The Daily Beast.

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The Unknown Soldier: Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama does not get nearly the credit she deserves….

In addition to her work on Health and Nutrition, she has worked tirelessly on behalf of Veterans and Military Families….

I was glad to see this article in US News that finally gives her some credit:

 

Often teamed with her lieutenant, Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife, Obama has organized and attended more events for and with military veterans and their families than any previous first lady, according to veterans groups. This year alone, for example, she’s participated in 50 events, many out of the eye of the media, and even dedicated the White House Christmas tree to supporting veterans. “There is this sense that this is genuine,” says Raezer. “We haven’t had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever.”

And it’s also more than a simple stop-by to drop off gifts at a local Toys for Tots outlet, like she did the week before Christmas, or a quickie visit and speech to welcome home troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama and Biden are leading the charge to encourage businesses to hire veterans, an especially difficult challenge with unemployment sky-high, through an initiative called Joining Forces. Many companies like Google now have programs to hire veterans. The International Franchise Association credits Obama with boosting hiring efforts like its bid to get more veteran couples to become franchise owners. “The first lady’s efforts accelerated those programs,” says spokesman Matthew Haller.

The first lady is also eager to get Americans unaffected directly by war to pay attention to the military and war families. “That’s one of the reasons why Jill and I started our Joining Forces initiative, because we wanted to rally all Americans to honor, recognize, and support our military families,” Obama says. Addressing military families at a White House holiday event, she added: “We wanted to make sure that never again would someone have to ask the question, ‘What is a Gold Star family and what does that sacrifice mean?’ We all should know.”

Sean O’Keefe, the former Navy secretary and NASA administrator, adds that Obama “has raised the visibility of the challenges confronted by the families of military service members—frequent relocation, psychological impact of children often raised by single parents due to long deployments, higher incidents of alcohol and drug abuse, and the often difficult access to healthcare.” Now CEO of EADS North America, he adds, “Her focus has prompted Americans to be attentive to these consequences endured by the families of those called to national service on behalf of all of us.”

via Vets: Michelle Best-Ever First Lady – Washington Whispers (usnews.com).

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Benefits of “ObamaCare”-Part 1

The benefits of Health Care Reform, aka “ObamaCare” are starting to slowly become apparent.

 

This prescription drug benefit had a big impact this year.  As someone who manages his elderly mother’s finances I saw it myself.  There was a very big difference in what we had to pay when she hit the “donut hole” this year as opposed to last year.  Really substantial savings…

While I was disappointed Health Care Reform did not go farther and deliver a single payer option, this is a big step in the right direction.  Add in the requirement requiring Insurance companies to actually invest their premiums in coverage and not profit-which I’ll talk more on later- and the other benefits such as being able to cover children on a parent’s insurance until they are 26- and this will really make a difference.  I think it will just take time for the benefits to sink in….

Since the Corporate Media isn’t going to report too much on this, we have to be grateful for this coverage from  USA Today:

 

 

WASHINGTON – More than 2.65 million Medicare recipients have saved more than $1.5 billion on their prescriptions this year, a $569-per-person average, while premiums have remained stable, the government plans to announce today.

Medicare patients are saving $569 per person, on average, on prescription drugs under the new health care law.

That’s because of the provision of the health care law that put a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the “doughnut hole,” the gap between traditional and catastrophic coverage in the drug benefit, also known as Part D.

And, as of the end of November, more than 24 million people, or about half of those with traditional Medicare, have gone in for a free annual physical or other screening exam since the rules changed this year because of the health care law.

“We’re very pleased with the numbers,” Jonathan Blum, director of the Center for Medicare, told USA TODAY. “We found the Part D premiums have also stayed constant, despite predictions that they would go up in 2012.”

The Department of Health and Human Services announced in August that 2012 Medicare prescription drug plan premiums would average about $30 a month, compared to $30.76 in 2011.

Starting this year, seniors who reach the doughnut hole in prescription benefits receive a 50% discount on name brand prescription drugs. Drug companies must provide the discount to participate in the prescription plan. Before the health care law took effect, Medicare patients had to pay full price for their prescriptions once they reached the gap in coverage.

via Health care law changing behavior – USATODAY.com.

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The Future of the Obama Coalition

Future demographic trends strongly support a Democratic majority- if the Dems start acting like Dems.

There is also the great Education Divide.

There is also a big disconnect among White people based on education.  I see it more and more with people I know.  Educated people tend to break for the Democrats.  This makes sense.  If you can apply critical thinking skills, you just can’t buy the GOP agenda.  Lesser educated Whites continue to vote GOP- for reasons I can’t fathom.  These folks are seriously voting against their own interests, but you just can’t reason with them.

The GOP has built their focus on the Southern Strategy since Nixon.  This is to appeal to uneducated, prejudiced White people.  It worked for years, but there are fewer and fewer folks in this demographic profile.  And it’s going to continue to die out….

I just hope the trends have moved far enough for this to work in 2012….

From the NY Times:

For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.

All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.

It is instructive to trace the evolution of a political strategy based on securing this coalition in the writings and comments, over time, of such Democratic analysts as Stanley Greenberg and Ruy Teixeira. Both men were initially determined to win back the white working-class majority, but both currently advocate a revised Democratic alliance in which whites without college degrees are effectively replaced by well-educated socially liberal whites in alliance with the growing ranks of less affluent minority voters, especially Hispanics.

via The Future of the Obama Coalition – NYTimes.com.

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Daily Kos: What might FDR have done about the debt limit?

I keep thinking and saying that Obama had an opportunity to do as much for the country as FDR and blew it.  And continues to blow it.  This article supports that theory.  It’s long but worth reading.

I’m becoming more and more disappointed in the President and how meekly he handles the GOP and how little he is standing firm on core Democratic principles.  When he agreed to bargain with cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, he started to lose me…

This article really compares and contrasts FDR and President Obama extremely well.

Here is a brief excerpt to the article by Dante Atkins at Daily Kos:

The only recent president who has faced an economic crisis more prolonged or more severe than the one our economy faces was the progressive legend Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who faced down both the Great Depression and the Nazis with equal aplomb and bested them both, and the contrast between how Obama is handling his economic showdowns with Republicans entering his reelection and how Roosevelt handled a similar time in his presidency could not be more clear. Obama has wanted to bring the nation above politics and create a grand bargain that incorporates ideas from both parties in an attempt to prove that our country is not as divided as our politics suggests, and he has, in his own words, been repeatedly left at the altar by Republicans with no conscience who want nothing more than to destroy him and his presidency. President Roosevelt, by contrast, was ideological: he was convinced that his way of managing the economy—the Keynesian approach of government as the spender of last resort—was right, and the austerity methods of the Republicans were wrong.

Unlike Obama, Roosevelt did not accept the conservative meme that macroeconomics and microeconomics have the same fundamental principles and that government has to “live within its means like families do.” Instead, Roosevelt understood that economic downturns reduce national income and that reduced national income leads to further downturn, creating a deflationary cycle that can only be broken when government steps in to put people back to work and break the cycle—a consideration that came second to balancing the budget.

via Daily Kos: What might FDR have done about the debt limit?.

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Is a Sane President Bad for the Country?

Well, this is a new idea…

But I’m not going to dismiss it out of hand.  It kind of makes sense.

It’s certainly thought-provoking.

Of course, since I’ve just been reading a book about Germany in 1933, I would love to see how he applies this to Hitler….That was certainly not a constructive application of the theory.

Maybe his thought is a little mental illness is good, but not too much.  Moderation.  I can go along with that….

Note to Michele Bachmann:  He doesn’t say crazy is good, only slight mental illness, so don’t get too excited….

From The Washington Post:

A provocative new book argues there is a correlation between mental illness and successful leadership.

Psychiatrist Nassir Ghaemi sums up his thesis like this: “Mental illness enhances leadership in crisis situations.”

In “A First-Rate Madness,” he says: “Sanity is rightly seen as healthy, conducive to personal happiness and success in life. But it does not always, or even usually, produce good leadership.”

Ghaemi notes that presidents widely considered successful — such as Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy — suffered from mood disorders for most of their lives. In Ghaemi’s view, a leader who has managed a lifetime of mental highs and lows is better equipped to handle trying situations.

In times of crisis, leaders with mood disorders were at an advantage rather than impaired, he writes. They were more resilient, more creative, more thoughtful, more empathetic and better able to endure times of intense stress. Along with presidents, he profiles General William Sherman, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gandhi.

Conversely, Ghaemi believes that George W. Bush and Tony Blair were failures as leaders because they were mentally healthy.

“Mentally healthy people are insulated from some of the world’s travails by their positive illusion — they believe that they and the world are actually better than they are. Generally speaking, positive illusion is a good thing,” he says, but cautions powerful people with positive illusions can fall prey to hubris.

According to Ghaemi, these kinds of leaders fall into the hubris syndrome when they have been in power for a long time. Using Bush and Blair as two living examples, he says they exhibited signs of hubris, which include not listening to opposing views, ignoring public opinion, believing God or history is on their side and demeaning dissenters.

“People who suffer from depression also benefit from depressive realism that should protect them from the illusion-enhancing effects of power,” Ghaemi concludes.

He says the way to avoid having leaders who suffer from hubris is to elect those who are “not too mentally healthy.”

So if Ghaemi is correct, along with questioning our 2012 presidential candidates about war and the economy, should we ask: “Do you ever have persistant sad, anxious or empty feelings?”

via Is a sane president bad for the country? – Political Bookworm – The Washington Post.

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