Posts tagged: Obama

The Courageous Decision

President Obama must make a decision soon on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. The most courageous decision he can make is to just say NO.

The Republicans will scream bloody murder, but I would rather have them screaming in Washington than some young American kid dying in Afghanistan.  We can defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda without sending more troops.

We didn’t invade Afghanistan to rebuild their country. We invaded because the Taliban would not turn  Osama bin Laden and other members of Al Qaeda over to us. We wanted to deny Al Qaeda a training ground and a safe place to plot against us. What do you think they have been doing in Pakistan for the past eight years? Do you think they have been waiting to get back into Afghanistan to train and plot against us? Of course not. An imaginary line in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan did not stop Al Qaeda from doing anything.

Let’s fight the most primitive means of warfare, suicide bombers and roadside bombs, with the greatest technology that the world has ever seen. Let’s use our overwhelming, unopposed, superior, air power to defeat the Taliban.

In “To Beat the Taliban, Fight from Afar” in the October 14, 2009  New York Times, Robert A. Pape suggests that we rely on air and naval power from a distance and work with local security forces on the ground. That’s how we beat the Taliban in 2001. We had some troops on the
ground, but we mainly worked with local Afghan fighters by providing air strikes against the Taliban. The Taliban may be able to survive underground in caves in Pakistan, but large groups of them out in the open, whether at night or during the day, are toast.

We have Reapers and Predators, unmanned aircraft that are operated remotely from bases in the United States. The assembly lines should be running twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week making these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). We certainly have enough laid off auto workers that they could be put to good use building UAVs to defend America, our ground forces and the ground forces of our Allies and friends. Let General McChrystal have all the UAVs he wants.

The November 2009 issue of Esquire magazine has an article by Brian Mockenhaupt called, “We’ve Seen The Future and It’s Unmanned.” Here is a quote from the article: “An F-16 burns a thousand gallons of fuel an hour and can stay over a target for about an hour before it must swap out with another plane or refuel midair. A Predator carries a hundred gallons of fuel with which it can stay over a target for twenty-four hours.”

Arizona Senator John McCain said that if President Obama didn’t send the 40,000 troops requested by General McChrystal it would be an “error of historic proportions.” He also said that more troops were “vitally needed” in Afghanistan and that any delay in ordering more combat forces to the fight would put American lives at risk. He will probably lead the criticism of the president if he says no.

Frank Rich wrote a column for the NY Times called, “Two Wrongs Make Another Fiasco.” It documents all the different ways that Senator McCain has been wrong since September 11, 2001. McCain has been wrong on just about everything.

Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t want the president to send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan either. He supports using UAVs and Special Forces to target Al Qaeda in Pakistan and letting the Afghans take over their own security. I’m with Joe.

What happened to all of the Afghans who fought the Taliban in 2001? Where are they now? Let’s invite 40,000 of them to defend their own country again. If we fight with local Afghan forces on the ground, they should be covered by an umbrella of massive fire power from unmanned drones and whatever other air power our military thinks is necessary.

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote a column on September 21, 2009 called, “The Hard and Bitter Truth.” He doesn’t want the president to send more troops either.

We should use all of the technology that we have to stop the Taliban and Al Qaeda from operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but we shouldn’t send more troops. Why should our soldiers have to die because the Taliban and Al Qaeda want to live in the 12th Century?

As Robert A. Pope says, “To Beat the Taliban, Let’s Fight From Afar.” May I suggest, “Kill them from a distance?”

President Obama, be courageous and just say NO!

Governor Palin’s Speech

I watched hockey mom / Governor of Alaska / vice-president nominee Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican convention last night. I have a few comments and questions.

Palin said, “Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speech-making, in which crowds are stirringly summoned to support great things, and then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things”, but she never said what those great things were.  Maybe she will have some details in her next speech.

She said ‘I told the Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks,” on that Bridge to Nowhere. If our state wanted to build a bridge, we were going to build it ourselves.” Can you give us our money back governor? According to the Boston Herald, she spent the money on “other projects” (my quotation marks).  Hmmm. Was it pork? Maybe she’ll let us know in her next speech.

Referring to Barack Obama she said, “This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting and never use the word “victory,” except when he’s talking about his own campaign.” She gave her entire speech and never mentioned the word “Bush”. Even if at some point in the future we claim “victory” in Iraq, we must always remember that it is a war we didn’t have to fight. The President and Vice-President of the United States lied to the American people to start this war. Our Congress didn’t have the guts to stop them or impeach them afterward.  It will be an expensive victory. Over 4,100 of our soldiers have been killed and 30,000 wounded, including 750 amputees. Somewhere between 86,000 and 94,000 Iraqi civilians have also been killed. Read Barack Obama’s 2002 speech about going to war with Iraq.

Let’s talk taxes. Palin said, “And let me be specific: The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, and raise payroll taxes, and raise investment income taxes, and raise the death tax, and raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.” Oh my God! The truth is Obama will end the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Rich is defined as people making over $250,000 a year. Obama will cut your taxes more than McCain, if you make under $118,000 a year (80% of taxpayers are in this group). McCain will continue the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000. Read the New York Times Magazine article Obamanomics. It explains this in detail.

“And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: We’ve got lots of both.” What are you waiting for Governor? Ship that oil and gas down to us. It’s too bad Bush/Cheney didn’t do something to promote solar power, wind power and hybrid cars the past 8 years. We might not be as dependent on foreign oil now.

Governor Palin forgot to mention that she wants to take away a woman’s right to an abortion.

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

Multiply Your Vote

I am voting for Barack Obama for President of the United States of America. You should too. I used to think that there wasn’t much difference between the Democrats and Republicans. Was I wrong about that. The last eight years have shown me the light. If Al Gore had been named president by the Supreme Court in 2000 instead of Bush, we wouldn’t have invaded Iraq. We wouldn’t have given a huge tax cut to people who didn’t really need one and a tiny tax cut to people who did. We would already be working to solve the global warming problem. We would have gone forward these past eight years instead of backward.

I am going to talk with as many of my friends and acquaintances as I can between now and election day and encourage them to vote for Obama. If you can get one undecided person to vote for Obama, you have multiplied your vote. If you can persuade a Republican, Libertarian or Green party voter to vote for Obama, you have multiplied your vote. Talk to people. You don’t have to get “in their face”. Be polite and civil. No yelling allowed. Ask them who they are going to vote for. Some people don’t bother to vote. Show them how easy it is to register and offer to help. Some people are actually worried that they won’t know what to do once they get in the voting booth. It’s true. I know that for a fact. Find out what type of machine they will be voting in and help them get familiar with it in advance. Most counties in the United States have a Board of Elections or something like it that can help you with voting machine information.

Robert Caro, writing in the New York Times, has a thoughtful article about Obama’s speech, Dr. Martin Luther King and President Lyndon Johnson’s address to Congress regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Many African-Americans risked their lives and their jobs to vote in the 1960’s. It took courage just to register.

I want people to know I am voting for Obama. I have an Obama ’08 bumper sticker on my car. I took off my Kerry/Edwards sticker in order to put it on. I suppose I could have left it on, but I think four years is long enough.  Can a bumper sticker multiply my vote? I don’t know, but it can’t hurt to try and I like seeing it there.

Last week, I put an Obama ’08 sign in my yard.  Obama \'08 Lawn Sign I can’t remember ever putting a political sign in my yard and I have lived through a few elections.  The first presidential contest that I remember was in 1964 when Barry Goldwater, another Republican from Arizona, ran against President Lyndon Baines Johnson, a Democrat from Texas. I was eleven years old and for LBJ because my parents were Democrats and everyone knew Goldwater was going to blow up the entire planet with nuclear weapons. Johnson won and went on to get the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965. Here is a link to more information about the Voting Rights Act. I stuffed envelopes for Eugene McCarthy in 1968 too. Wow. It’s been forty years since I did something besides complain. How about you?

I have an Obama pin that I wear on my shirt or hat. It’s a conversation starter and it lets people know where I stand. Of course, some people like it and some people don’t.

I am going to volunteer as a driver to take Democrats to the polls on November 4th. If I can provide transportation for one person that wouldn’t have been able to vote, I have multiplied my vote.

You can also visit the Barack Obama website to multiply your vote. You can donate money, find out what events are going on in your state, sign up to volunteer and register to vote.

As of today, August 30th, there are 65 days until the election. You can make a difference between now and then. There are 142 days left until Bush’s last day.

Barack Obama  will become the President of the United States of America on January 20, 2009.


I watched Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention last night on CNN. She impressed me as being an honest person. She appeared genuine and trustworthy and her message was uplifting. She seems very intelligent too. I was going to say that she must be very smart because she graduated from prestigious Princeton University, but as the world now knows, you can have an Ivy League education and still be an idiot.  I think she will keep Barack on track when he is elected President of the United States of America. I can’t imagine that she would let her husband invade another country based on a bunch of lies or pardon someone like “Scooter” Libby, who was convicted of obstructing justice and lying under oath, before he served even 5 minutes of his sentence. One of the lies was that Libby blamed an innocent person, the late Tim Russert, for leaking classified information about Valerie Plame. Judith Miller, an innocent New York Times reporter, spent 85 days in jail for refusing to discuss the case with a grand jury. A lot of things would be different if Libby had just been honest. It’s not too late though. He could still confess if he wanted to.

After 8 years of lies from Bush and his thugs, it will be refreshing to have a president and administration you can believe in.

The Republicans are running television lies that say Obama is going to raise your taxes. More lies? Yes. I was at the Washington County Fair, in upstate New York Sunday. I stopped by the Democratic party’s booth to pick up an Obama lawn sign. As I was leaving, a man in the next booth saw my sign and said, “he’s going to raise your taxes.” I stopped, looked at him and said “that’s not true”.  I told him to read the article in the New York Times Magazine of August 24, 2008, “Obamanomics“, by David Leonhardt.

To briefly quote from the article: “For the bottom 80 percent of the population — those households making $118,000 or less — McCain’s various tax cuts would mean a net savings of about $200 a year on average. Obama’s proposals would bring $900 a year in savings. So for most people, Obama is the tax cutter in this campaign.”

It’s an excellent article with a lot of detailed information. Read it and you will know how to respond to people who say “he’s going to raise your taxes.”

Rush Limbaugh, the Republican radio loudmouth who broadcasts from Palm Beach, Florida, apparently read the Obamanomics article too and distilled a very thoughtful, well documented article into a cheap slogan. He quoted Barack Obama paraphrasing Warren Buffett and turned it into “Just tax the heck out of people”. He suggested that McCain could use it as a campaign ad. Obama didn’t say it, he was paraphrasing Buffett. But, it doesn’t matter to Rush, the truth is irrelevant. If Rush was Pinocchio, his nose would stretch from Palm Beach to the South Side of Chicago.

I suppose that the campaign ads will just get worse from now until the election. I expect that the ads will be mostly negative, especially from the Republican side. Who cares about honesty? Just take a snippet of something somebody said, or a soundbite out of context and turn it into propaganda.

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