Tag Archives: Glenn Beck

Can CBO News Boost the Public Option?

We’ve been hearing for quite awhile now that adding a public option to healthcare reform would break the bank. “More than a trillion dollars!!!” lawmakers screamed. And many of them were Democrats. Now comes word that a preliminary estimate from the Congressional Budget Office puts the cost of a House Democratic bill with a public option at $871 billion.

For those who like to count numbers, that’s less than the $900 billion dollar cap set by President Obama in his address to a joint session of Congress last month. But wait, there’s more good news. The Democrats’ version would also reduce the deficit in the first 10 years. The CBO report is due to drop Wednesday, and its ramifications could be far reaching. It gives House Speaker Nancy Pelosi much more ammunition in trying to get a bill with a strong public option through the House.

For reasons best known to themselves, so-called “blue dog” Democrats in the House have been arguing for the lame, government run insurance plan promoted by Republicans in both the House and Senate. Published reports say that plan won’t save as much as the one with the public option. So what will be their excuse now? Speaking of which, when will President Obama get behind the public option, for real?

We’ve said this before. Barack Obama says he favors reform with a public option. Yet he hasn’t put the full weight of his office behind it, and he lets some of his aides equivocate when asked about it. As the late Jim Morrison once opined, “The time for hesitation’s through. No time to wallow in the mire”. Let’s put this bluntly. If President Barack Obama wants to leave a lasting presidential legacy, this is it. Time to get off the dime, Mr. President. The numbers favor you, and those members of the House who have fought hard to provide adequate, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Let the Rush Limbaughs, the Glenn Becks, the Sean Hannitys do their best. They can’t impugn the integrity of the CBO. They use numbers from the agency when it suits their purpose. Do they really want to cry socialist forever? There’s light at the end of the tunnel for the public option, but it’s not law yet. Those who favor it, and many have been doing yeoman work in their advocacy, need to raise their voices even louder.

And I’m not just talking about well known people. I’m talking about the folks who send healthcare messages in every Facebook post they make, the people who keep it alive on Twitter, the underground majority who get that this is a matter of national pride, and can’t be left to the loud, the selfish, the lawmakers whose votes are bought and paid for.

I, for one, am optimistic the public option will become law. How about you?

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Hating on Obama- Is it Racial?

One thing is for sure. You’ll never hear President Obama himself say so.

For him to do so would simply feed a frenzied media cycle that would last at least a week. “Obama Plays the Race Card,” the headlines would scream. Yet more and more black folks I talk to are starting to believe a good deal of the opposition to this President is based on the inability of some Americans to get used to a black man in the White House.

People will point to everything from Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You Lie” during Obama’s speech to the joint session of Congress, to likening him to Hitler, to that oft repeated phrase “I want my country back”.

Rep. Joe Wilson
Rep. Joe Wilson

And they have a point. Of course, no one who makes these statements would admit to hating black people. They say they’re judging Obama on his merits (or lack of same).

Still, their language, and the slavish devotion to the agendas of the Glenn Becks of the world give some people pause.

glenn-beck

What’s troubling is more black folks want Obama to call out his opponents for their perceived racism. In fact, some are taking him to task for not doing so. And these are not “militant nationalists”, who often get dismissed even inside the black community. No, these are the people in the barber shops, the hair salons, and yes, some folks in the political establishment as well.

However, consider the impact if the President did speak out and call out some of his opposition on racism.

Here in New York, Gov. David Paterson, in a radio interview, hinted that some of the media coverage of his tenure was tinged with racism. The media had a field day. There were more stories using the media’s favorite crutch words, the “race card” than had been written in a year.

All this speaks to the central role race still plays in American political discourse. The election of Barack Obama, post racial though it may have seemed, didn’t change that. President Obama knows this. That’s why his references to race are usually talking to black people about responsibility rather than the nation as a whole about dealing with race prejudice.

Those who want him to strike out at the Joe Wilsons, the Glenn Becks, the Jim DeMints of the world are bound to be disappointed.

jim_demint
Jim DeMint

Justified or not, it’s not going to happen. That leaves a stark choice for black America. Should we do that heavy lifting for the President? Or should we — of all races — simply keep discussing it among ourselves?

You tell me.

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Did Empty News Cycle Cause Obama Speech Controversy?

By the end of Tuesday, President Barack Obama will have spoken to the nation’s schoolchildren, and hopefully the auto-generated mess it created will be history. It was quite something to behold, the President wanting to tout education to young people, and conservatives going bonkers. So how exactly did all this happen?

Well for one, Congress was in the last week of its summer recess. For whatever reason, the healthcare debate that roiled the nation most of the summer died down just a little. Low and behold, there’s wasn’t much for media to talk about. At least as far as media was concerned. Then came manna from heaven. The letter describing the president’s back to school speech contained a seemingly simple request. It asked teachers to have students write to themselves about how they might assist the President.

To some, this was red meat. In an otherwise dead news cycle, it was even better for conservative media.

Jim Greer, Florida’s Republican Party chair, condemned the President’s “use of taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.”

Jim Greer
Jim Greer

Then the piling on began. Some right wing radio and TV hosts urged parents to keep their kids home from school so they wouldn’t hear the speech. It’s as if they thought Barack Obama would be wearing a dashiki and talking to kids about reparations.

Is making the most of your time in school a socialist agenda? Is standing as a role model to show that yes, any American can be president indoctrinating schoolchildren? But hey, there wasn’t much else to talk about, and in some quarters, anything that hurts President Obama is a goof thing. Just ask the Glenn Becks, the Sean Hannitys, and the Rush Limbaughs of the world.  And for what?

Even if you argue that the letter Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent contained some vague, unclear language, there’s no excuse for using children as a political weapon.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Education Secretary Arne Duncan

But that’s just what happened. It will continue until Americans demand that more be done during periods when there’s little breaking news (BTW, have you seen what passes for breaking news on cable news channels lately?). It will also continue, sadly, until the President realizes just what and who he’s up against, and that compromise with many of his enemies (not opponents) isn’t possible. They’ll keep coming until Barack Obama makes them fear his wrath.

And now we all know they’re not above using children. We’ve asked time and time again whether there’s been some defining event that will make this President take the gloves off.

My question to you is, are we there yet?

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