Tag Archives: White House

Why Barack Obama DESERVES Re-Election (Part 1)

barack obama election 2012
Re-elect Barack Obama

Let me say at the outset that I don’t agree with everything Barack Obama has done as president. Yet I’ve never in my life agreed with everything any president has done.

For that matter, I didn’t agree with everything my mom and dad did!

From both a pragmatic political and idealistically progressive standpoint, however, there’s no doubt this president should serve another four years.

I have heard from progressives I respect about their disappointment with aspects of his time in office. It’s time to get realistic about what Barack Obama has done as president, and what four years of Mitt Romney will mean for those already struggling (and who progressives are and speak for).

How about we start with President Obama’s appointments to the US Supreme Court.

I know most voters don’t pay attention to this, but think for a moment who John McCain might have appointed, and who Barack Obama actually did. Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are both solid jurists. The alternative would likely have been a 6-3 conservative court rather than the 5-4 we now have.

Oh yeah, and when before in US history have three women sat on the highest court in the land together?

How about we take a look at the Affordable Care Act?

Was it perfect? Nope. Yet when all is said and done, double digit millions of Americans will be covered by health insurance. Also, that habit the insurance companies had of dropping your coverage when it suited them is now gone. Plus, parents can keep their kids on their plans to age 26. But here’s the most important thing. Barack Obama took the first step in taking us down the road to universal healthcare. That would be where everyone is covered. The first president who tried to get healthcare legislation passed in this country was Teddy Roosevelt. None of us remember him.

It’s time to stop carping about whether that’s the first thing Barack Obama should have done, and whether it’s good enough.

It is.

Political pragmatism is something it seems Republicans do better than Democrats. When the time came to try to gut this president’s agenda, they stood together. It’s time for us to stand together the same way.

Barack Obama has governed well, and those who those who think this country should be run like an investment firm know this. In the days, weeks, and months ahead, we’ll be bombarded with polls, ads, responses to the ads, talking heads, gasbags, and wannabees.

Know this. The man to bring this country back to some semblence of economic normalcy isn’t Mitt Romney. The man to do that has already sits in the White House.

As we move forward, we’ll be writing about other things Barack Obama has accomplished for you, me, my kids, and this country. Let the naysayers do their best.

We’re better, and so is Barack Obama.

The Mark Riley Morning Show Tune in weekdays www.wwrl1600.com Live 6am-9am EST.

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Are Tiger and Gate Crashers the Only News?

Forgive me, I was out of town the past few days, so I don’t know if there was a breakthrough on healthcare reform, or whether the House, Senate, or White House has come up with a magic bullet for the unacceptably high unemployment rate.

I do know retailers were cautiously optimistic about “Black Friday”. I went to a shopping mall out of town not to buy anything, but to see a movie with my daughter. There were plenty of people there, but checkout lines didn’t seem long, and lots of folks were leaving without being weighted down with packages.

What I did hear and see a lot about were two stories. Tiger Woods, Emperor of  All Golf , crached his SUV early Friday morning just outside his house. Apparently, it was early enough to cause all manner of speculation about the state of his marriage, the state of his mind (he was reportedly unconscious), and whether a tabloid report about his fooling around is true. Yawn!

Tiger’s right. He’s boring, and so is the frenzy that’s surrounding this incident. He ought to know better than to turn away state troopers trying to investigate the crash more than once. All that does is feed the media speculation. You and the missus ought to talk to them, release a statement, and be done with it already.

The other story that won’t go away is the one about the couple that crashed the White House state dinner Tuesday night. If  Michaele and  Tareq Salahi werre looking for 15 minutes of fame, they got five days. This one is amazing on several levels. Why would two people think they had the smarts and the guts to get past what most folks think is tough security at the White House?

What would they have done if they’d been turned away, just head to a fancy Georgetown restaurant? Of course, just like that “Balloon Boy” family, reports say the wife wanted to be on a reality television show. Was this supposed to be her audition?

The Salahis are reportedly talking to the Secret Service, maybe trying to avoid a possible criminal rap for their night on the town. Government security in general ought to be hanging their heads in shame, because it means security checkpoints literally mean nothing. All that stuff they make you do at the airport? Theater! Building security, where they make you show a couple of forms of ID? Meaningless!

And Sunday, here were two US Senators discussing the incident, and saying (with appropriate seriousness), that criminal charges are in order. Do I smell an investigation in the Upper House?

But hey, you tell me. Did anything else go on over this past weekend? (I do know about the awful murders of four cops in Washington state. Here’s hoping they nail the guy).

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Obama Address Congress on Healthcare – Can He Still Win?

President Obama goes for all the marbles next Wednesday when he addresses a joint session of Congress of healthcare reform. At this point, he might as well swing for the fences. Changing the nation’s healthcare system for the better is, like it or not, the defining issue of his presidency. Polls indicate the nation isn’t all that happy with the way he’s handled things thus far, but the game isn’t over yet. I’m using a few sports metaphors on purpose here. That’s because for the president’s opposition, healthcare has become a high stakes game of chicken.

Look for a moment at the duplicity of Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley. For months now, Grassley has been dangling the hope of bipartisan compromise on reform. He is, after all, the ranking Republican member of the Finance Committee, and part of the “Gang of Six” that were in talks to get something done. He’d even been to the White House three times to meet with the president. Then came August, and the rancorous town hall meetings across the country. Grassley’s commitment to bipartisanship seems to have ended right there. Compare for yourself.

Grassley in April: “Health care not only is 16% of the gross national product, but it touches the quality of life of every household as few others do. I’m doing everything I can to make the reform effort in Congress a bipartisan one.”

Grassley in an August fund raising letter: “The simple truth is that I am and always have been opposed to the Obama Administration’s plans to nationalize health care. Period.”

So much for playing nice. And now it looks like Obama has at least in part learned his lesson. Instead of negotiating with Grassley, he’s talking to Maine’s Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, probably a better choice to begin with. And it looks like he’ll press forward with his vision of healthcare reform not just to members of Congress, but to the American people as well. This makes sense, since recent polls say most folks in fact support a public option as part of reform.

It may not be the single payer, universal plan that I personally favor, but it’s better than the status quo some lawmakers are advocating. And of course, when you look at where some of these people get their campaign contributions from, the real reason for their opposition becomes clear.

What exactly the president will say to Congress is anybody’s guess, since we’re just under a week away from the address. If he asked my opinion (and he hasn’t), I’d say it’s time for one of those inspirational speeches like the ones he gave so well during the campaign. You can win this battle, Mr. President. Just don’t make this speech a mind numbing recitation of statistics and numbers. Bring fire, Barack Obama! The stakes are high.

What do you think. Can President Obama still win the healthcare reform battle?

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