Posts tagged: Barack Obama

We Need Healthcare Reform Now

The U.S. Capitol Building

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

President Barack Obama’s speech last night to a joint session of Congress was amazing. He is such an eloquent speaker. From the beginning of  his speech to the end, he spoke directly and clearly to Congress and the American people about what was needed to reform health care in America. It’s time for our elected officials to get behind the president and enact health care reform.

All of the other major industrialized countries in the world can’t be wrong. Citizens of the United States shouldn’t have to go bankrupt or lose their home because they get sick. It is time for the Republicans to shut up and do the right thing for their country.

The idea that the Republicans would lie about and fight against health care reform so that they could “defeat” the president is despicable.

In an interview with the Huffington Post last month, Congressman Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California said, “I think they have made a political decision that their best chance to pick up the Congress and to get power again is to be able to run in 2010 and say that Obama didn’t accomplish anything. And they are doing their best to make sure that happens.”

I was going to call Republican Congressman Joe Wilson from South Carolina, who shouted “you lie” at the president at one point during the speech, a “little weasel”, but I’m not. Maybe he is taking Wellbutrin to help him quit smoking and it’s making him a little paranoid. I was trying to quit smoking a few years back and was taking Wellbutrin. It made me paranoid and sometimes I would yell things out. I stopped taking it. As far as I am concerned, it would have been appropriate for the Sergeant-At-Arms to have removed him from the room.  I would have loved to have seen that.  Where was Wilson when Bush was lying to Congress about going to war with Iraq? He is more worked up about health care reform and illegal immigrants than he was about war. From what I have read, we are already giving free medical care to illegal aliens. If you have a medical emergency and show up at a hospital, the doctors have to treat you.

Cell phones and Blackberries should be banned from the room when the president is speaking. Republican Eric Cantor from Virginia could be seen playing with his Blackberry during the president’s speech. How disrespectful.  What could possibly have been on his Blackberry that was more important than what the president was saying? What? He should start paying more attention to what Barack Obama is saying and stop listening to Rush Limbaugh and John Boehner.

John Boehner, a Republican Senator from Ohio, was sitting right next to Cantor. They are the dynamic duo of the Republican party. They just say no to anything the president wants to do.

It wasn’t always so. Republicans were not always obstinate jackasses. Republicans have actually supported some important pieces of legislation in the past. Eighty-one Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for The Social Security Act of 1935. Fifteen voted no and 4 didn’t vote. The Democrats voted 284 yes, 15 no and 20 didn’t vote. The Senate vote was Republicans, 16 yes, 5 no and 4 not voting. Sixty Democrats voted yes, 1 no and 8 didn’t vote.

Many Republicans supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The House vote was Republicans 138 yes, 34 no, Democrats 152 yes, 96 no. In the Senate the vote was Republicans 27 yes, 6 no, Democrats 44 yes, 23 no.

It actually is possible for our elected officials to do the right thing and vote their conscience and not their party.

I don’t understand the rabid hatred that some elected officials have for President Obama. How can Republicans like former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa spread lies about “death panels?”  It is the same mentality that allowed Bush and Cheney to start the war in Iraq. It’s obvious that lies are being told and that the emperor has no clothes.

The Republican party needs to come to its senses and support meaningful legislation to move this country forward in a positive direction. They can’t just sit back, do their best to thwart the president and hope he fails so that they can reclaim the White House in four years. They supported tax cuts for the rich. That was the first thing Bush did when he got elected. That is one of the reasons the deficit is so big today. They supported starting a war in Iraq that we didn’t have to fight. That was another unfunded, shameful, budget disaster. We can waste a trillion dollars on a needless war, but we can’t provide health care for our citizens. That would be too much like socialism.

Doctors today, with all of the  technology, drugs and knowledge available, can do some amazing things. I know. I have been a beneficiary of  some of that advanced care. I’m glad to still be here. At the time I worked for a great company that provided one of the best health insurance packages in the world. I don’t think I ever had to pay a bill except for small co-pays at the doctors office. I don’t work for that company any more and I buy my own health insurance. It’s not as good as what I had when I worked for the world class company.

If something happened to me again today, I know that I would have to pay out a lot of my own money. Perhaps if the members of Congress had to buy their own insurance and didn’t have a taxpayer paid plan, they would be more interested in reforming health care. Your health care shouldn’t be dependent on where you work or what you do.

Although I remember when they did, doctors don’t make house calls anymore. Health care has changed dramatically since Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Party Platform of 1912 mentioned it. Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to create a national health care system in 1935 when Social Security was started, but couldn’t do it. President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton tried to get health care reform passed in 1993. They were shouted down by the same mentality that is trying to shout down reform today.

Daniel Gross wrote a great article on Slate called, “The Private Option.” The subtitle is “Employment-based health insurance is in big trouble, but don’t blame Obama.” In it he says that 29% of Americans already get their health insurance directly from the government (people on Medicare, Medicaid and members of the military). That figure doesn’t include teachers, state workers, county workers, city workers, and town and village workers who get their insurance indirectly from the government, but still paid for by taxes.

On September 8, 2009 in the New York Times, Paul Krugman, one of my favorite writers, wrote a column called, “Why the public option matters.” The health care reform bill must contain a public option. Anything less will not be real reform.

It’s absolutely crucial that the reforms that President Obama outlined in his speech last night are implemented. The American public must win this fight over the special interests and lobbyists who want to defeat health care reform. Contact your Congressman and Senators and let them know that you support President Obama.

I support Barack Obama and I commend him for fighting for health care reform. You should too.

Nicholas D. Kristof wrote a column for the New York Times called, “Let Congress Go Without Insurance” on October 7, 2009. Take a few minutes and read what Nicholas Kristof has to say.

Bush Still Doesn’t Get It

I didn’t want to write this story, but I just can’t let it go.

Ed Rollins wrote an article for CNN on January 13th, 2009 called, “Commentary: Bush still doesn’t get it.” I agree that Bush still doesn’t get it. The problem is that Ed Rollins still doesn’t get it either.

Rollins is a Republican strategist who was the national chairman of Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign. Take a minute and imagine how horrible you would feel right now if Huckabee was going to be inaugurated next Tuesday instead of Barack Obama.

Rollins says this about Bush in his article, “I don’t believe he is dishonest or an incompetent.” Well Ed, I think he is both.

Bush should have known, and I think he did, that the evidence for weapons of mass destruction was not credible. He should not have invaded another country based on the information that he had. I think that alone is evidence of both incompetence and dishonesty. Saddam Hussein may have been a ruthless dictator, but he wasn’t a threat to the United States.

Scooter Libby, Vice-President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff,  was convicted in a court of law for one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and lying to the FBI. There is no way that he deserved a pardon from Bush, but that is exactly what Bush did.  Libby did not serve 5 minutes of his 30 month sentence.

Judith Miller, a reporter for the New York Times, spent 12 weeks in jail for refusing to identify sources in this case. She didn’t disclose the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Libby did. The pardon is another example of dishonest and incompetent behavior by Bush.

Rollins brings up the fact that Bill Clinton was impeached. He asks (referring to Clinton and Bush), “Why did their presidencies not live up to those high expectations that we all have for our new leaders on Inauguration Day?”

How dare he compare Clinton to Bush. Comparing Bill Clinton to George Bush is ridiculous and obnoxious. It makes me want to spit. Clinton lied about something that was insignificant and trivial compared to war. Nobody died because of his lie. The impeachment proceedings distracted the president from running the country. What could he have accomplished if he had not been harassed by Congress? When Bill Clinton left office the United States was at peace and had a budget surplus.

Bush’s failures tower over Clinton’s. Bush should have been impeached for invading Iraq. I don’t understand why he wasn’t.

Thousands upon thousands of people have died because of his lies. Thousands more have been grievously wounded. Only Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has had the courage to present Articles of Impeachment against Bush.

Throughout the article Rollins gives Barack Obama advice about things he should do and how he should do it. Ed, stop giving Barack advice. Stop telling him what he can and can’t do. You are very close to the bottom of the list for people giving Barack advice. You are somewhere down there with Rush Limbaugh.

Rollins says (to Bush), “Thank you, for serving your country.” I say good riddance. We would have been much better off without you.

I can’t wait for Tuesday when Barack Obama takes the oath of office.

P. S.

Barack Obama was asked recently if he would seek an investigation of possible crimes by the Bush administration. He answered, ” I don’t believe that anybody is above the law, but we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

Paul Krugman wrote an article for the New York Times titled, “Forgive and Forget?” He believes that the Obama administration should investigate the crimes committed by the Bush administration. I agree completely.

If we don’t hold the Bush administration accountable for their crimes, then they are above the law.

We Are Taking Back Our Country


That was the headline on Wednesday, November 5, 2008, in newspapers across America.

Just before the Democratic National Convention in 2004, my sister Judy told me that Barack Obama was going to give the keynote speech. I said, “who the hell is Barack Obama?” or something like that. Didn’t you, when you first heard his name? I thought that his speech at the convention was very good. He is an excellent speaker.

Fast forward to the Democratic debates earlier this year. Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and John Edwards were on the same stage. I liked what Dennis Kucinich had to say.  Congressman Kucinich was the only one who had the guts to present a resolution in Congress to impeach  Bush and Cheney. More congressmen should have supported him. I thought Joe Biden was very good in the debates too.

Then it was just Hillary and Barack. I thought that Barack was a better speaker, but I liked Hillary’s healthcare plan better. I chose to support Barack, although I would have voted for Hillary if she had been nominated. I didn’t like the fact that we would have gone from four years of George H. W. Bush to eight good years of Bill Clinton to eight disastrous years of George W. Bush to at least another four years of Hillary Clinton. Why should two families have all the fun?

There is no way I would have voted for McCain under any circumstances. I think he and Sarah Palin ran an ugly, dirty little campaign. He kept pestering Obama about not admitting that the “surge” was working. I have never heard McCain admit that the war was a shameful waste, didn’t need to be fought and was based on lies.

Barack was an easy choice. I liked what he had to say and he inspired people. I kept hearing about his speech against the Iraq war. I looked it up and read it. I thought it was an extraordinary speech. He hit the nail on the head. Take five minutes and read it or watch it from the link above. It’s too bad he wasn’t a United States Senator at the time. More people might have paid attention.

I was born into a world where African-Americans in America, especially the southern states, were denied the right to vote. It wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that something was finally done about it. I am so glad that we have made so much progress since then. We are not a color blind country yet, but we have come a long way. This election testifies to that.

It was amazing to see all of the huge celebrations going on in the United States and around the world on election night. I especially liked the celebration outside of the White House gates. I saw Jesse Jackson and Oprah crying tears of joy in Chicago.

Let the cynical Republicans go read their Wall Street Journals. I wish Barack and Joe Biden  the best.

We are taking back our country. January 20, 2009 can’t get here fast enough for me.

Your comments are welcome.

Say No to the Bailout

Bush wants to shove this bailout down our throats and he is in an awful hurry to do it. Bush basically wants us to give him a  blank check and trust him to do the right thing. And he wants it done this week. Alarm bells should be clanging all over the country. He has not done the right thing in 8 years. Why would he start now? I don’t trust him AT ALL and you shouldn’t either. He lied to us about Iraq, lied to us about the Patriot Act and he lied to us about the tax cuts for the rich that he rammed through Congress when he first took office. He is lying now. He has never apologized or admitted that he is wrong and he never will. He is a a national disgrace.

I guarantee you that the bailout will be worse than the problem it is supposed to fix. It is an absolutely stupid idea that will reward the greedy, incompetent, morons on Wall Street for being greedy, incompetent morons. It will stick hard working Americans with another bill that they can’t afford. Let all the bigshots on Wall Street pay for the bailout with the millions and millions of dollars in their golden parachutes. They screwed it up big time and will walk away laughing, live in luxury and let some man or woman making $12 an hour pay the tab. No way.

I am afraid that our representatives in Congress will not have the backbone to stand up to him over this. I don’t understand why. Oh, they might put on a little show and complain a little bit, but they will probably cave in and give Bush what he wants. I don’t have any confidence in them at all that they will do the right thing either. It would be nice to see, but they will probably roll over like they usually do.

Maybe we can inspire them a little. Let them know we will stand with them if they will stand up to Bush.

Write your Senators and Congressman today. Right now. I did it this morning. It’s easy. In a few days it could all be over. Tell them to say no to the bailout. Tell them to say no to Bush. Tell them to come up with another solution instead of sticking it to the little guy. Tell them to have a backbone and do the right thing.

You can find your U.S. Senator’s email address here. You can do this in 10 minutes or less. Let them know you want them to stand up to Bush and say no to the bailout.

You can find your Representative’s email address here. It’s easy and takes 10 minutes or less.

You can get phone numbers and call them at either link too and regular mail addresses, but this is all going to be over in a matter of days.

You can email both of your Senators and your Representative in the time in takes to watch 1 half hour sitcom!

While you are at it, send an email to Barack Obama and John McCain and tell them to say no too. I’m going to do that right now.

Paul Krugman was on The Bill Maher show Friday night and said, “We really need a better government than the one we’ve got.” I love it.

I’m voting for Barack Obama. You should too.

Note added on October 22, 2013: For more information about the political process, both major parties and how our government works visit


The Ignorant Little Man

I drove to Trenton, New Jersey this past weekend to attend a wedding in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. My wife wanted to get her nails done Saturday morning. I dropped her off and told her I was going to drive to Bordentown to take some new pictures of a statue of Thomas Paine. I had previously photographed the statue several years ago.

Thomas Paine

I parked my car around 10:00 AM, got out and started to take my first picture. As I was lining up my shot I heard a voice behind me say something like “that guy has been photographed an awful lot.” I turned around to see who was speaking. I was wearing an Obama 08 sticker on my shirt (instead of a button) and an Obama for President baseball hat that my brother-in-law had given me the previous night. The speaker was a short, older man about 65 or 70, carrying a tall walking stick with a small American flag attached to it. I think he was wearing a red hat. As soon as I turned he saw my hat and said,

“Aren’t you an American? Are you going to vote for that n*****?”

I was stunned and revolted. The words hit me in the face. I didn’t expect to meet someone so ignorant on such a beautiful sunny day in historic Bordentown, New Jersey. He continued walking towards the end of the street and I said, “I’m voting for Barack Obama. He’s ten times smarter than McCain.” He turned at the end of the street and walked back towards me. He pointed to Thomas Paine and said “Who do you think he’d vote for? Ronald Reagan.” I could have reminded him that Reagan was dead, but I didn’t. I said that Thomas Paine would vote for Barack Obama. Then the ignorant little man said, “and he’s a Muslim too.” I said, “No. He’s not.” The ignorant little man continued walking and turned down a side street. That is the last I saw of him. I was really angry. I continued to take some pictures. I took my Obama hat off and put it on Tom Paine.

Statue of Thomas Paine wearing Obama for President hat

That ignorant little man hates Obama because of the color of his skin. He has lived 65 or 70 years on this good earth and not learned a thing. Apparently, he hasn’t even really looked at the statue and read the inscriptions. Double click on the picture below to enlarge it.

Thomas Paine and Abolition of Slavery

Thomas Paine was among the first in America to advocate for the abolition of slavery. He too would have been deeply offended by the words of the ignorant little man. Read Paine’s essay African Slavery in America on The words of the ignorant little man are remnants of slavery, segregation and Jim Crow that still unfortunately echo through this great country. We have come a long way here in America, but there is still a long, long way to go. Too many people still invalidate another person simply because of the color of their skin. People are who they are because of what is inside them and how they treat their fellow man, not because of their skin color.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in his inspirational I Have a Dream speech, ” I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” We are not there yet. Dr. King was a courageous man. He was as brave as any soldier on a battlefield. He gave his life to free this nation from shameful behavior that divided it. This country is a better place because of him.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt was running for president in 1931, he was rarely photographed in his wheelchair. It was thought that some people would not vote for a president with a disability. He was elected president four times and guided this nation through the Great Depression and World War Two. I bet that some people, if they had known he was in a wheelchair, would not have voted for him. FDR was the right man to lead this country in very dangerous time.

If you are thinking of not voting for Barack Obama because he is black, think again. If you are thinking of not voting at all because you live in a “blue” state and Obama is predicted to win, think again. Who knows how many ignorant little men are lurking out there. Get out there and vote.

I hope the ignorant little man (and all the other ignorant little men and women), forgets to vote.

America desperately needs someone who can lead us through this mess.

I’m voting for Barack Obama. You should too.

John McCain, Bad For America

I find it hard to believe John McCain said Monday that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. Tuesday he explained that when he said “fundamentals of the economy” he really meant the American worker is strong. Huh? When I hear you say “fundamentals of the economy,” I don’t hear “American worker.” Say what you mean. So much for the Straight Talk Express. This is the guy who had Phil Gramm as his economic advisor until he called us a “nation of whiners.” Phil disappeared shortly after that remark. Gramm is high on the list of people responsible for the mess the economy is in now. He did a lot to make sure the markets weren’t regulated. Read this article in the New York Times or this one in The Huffington Post to find out that McCain “doesn’t really know about economics” and got his advice from Phil Gramm. Molly Ivins called Gramm one of the meanest guys ever to serve in the U.S. Congress. It is disgusting that McCain let Gramm come within 1000 yards of him. Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard and a McCain supporter, said recently that neither McCain, Palin, Obama or Biden could run a major corporation. She couldn’t run HP either but she got a nice fat $21 million package when she was dismissed. Do you really want to elect a guy as president that graduated 894 out of 899 in his Naval Academy class? Haven’t you had enough of George Bush, our current “C” student President? Do you want to replace one incompetent fighter pilot with another incompetent fighter pilot and have another four years as disastrous as the last eight? Do you want to elect a guy who can’t remember if Iran is Sunni or Shia and needs smiling Joe Lieberman to remind him?

Smiling Joe Lieberman

I am going to vote for Barack Obama who graduated from Columbia and Harvard Law School and actually knows where the library is at both institutions. I want someone who can actually think.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he is still undecided about who he will vote for and wants to watch the upcoming debates. Didn’t he watch any of the debates leading up to the conventions? That wasn’t enough? Does he read a newspaper or watch TV? If you don’t know the difference between McCain and Obama by now you are not paying attention. I understand that he is a Republican and may not want the world to know that he is considering voting for Obama, but to say that you are still undecided? Retired General Wesley Clark is voting for Obama and here is a great story explaining why he is a Democrat.

Dr. Phil said on the Larry King Show that he doesn’t know who he is voting for yet either. Wow. This is a “no brainer” people. If you don’t realize yet that Barack Obama is light years ahead of McCain in the “smarts” department, you haven’t been listening.

In the movie “Moonstruck”, Loretta Castorini (Cher), slaps Ronnie Cammareri (Nicholas Cage) in the face twice and yells “Snap out of it.”

For all of you undecided voters out there: SNAP OUT OF IT!

I’m voting for Barack Obama. You should too.

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