Tag Archives: President Obama

Christmas In November. Well, Actually I Saw Signs In September But I Refused To Notice.

Halloween is two days behind us. We haven’t even come down off our sugar high and there are candy canes and displays in the grocery stores for fruit cakes and Christmas cookie decorations.

It has always amazed me how early Christmas displays pop up. And I know I sound old when I say this, but the signs seems to be popping up earlier and earlier. Back in my day…..

OK. I really don’t remember what it was like back in the day. I was too excited for Halloween and getting tons of candy and then making it last until Christmas. At least. And because my sister would scarf up her candy within the week and I would carefully and deliberately  ration my own stash — Christmas seemed a long way off.

And it is. 53 days away. But I was out shopping today and from the looks of things, I’d say it’s just around the corner. They’re even playing Christmas carols.

What about Thanksgiving? Or Election Day (today), for that matter? What about living in the moment? Or one day at a time? Why are we rushing things?

Zen-zen, people! Breathe.

I have a friend who refuses to decorate for a holiday until she is actually in the month that the holiday falls. I admire her restraint. I think the stores should follow suit.

But then I remember why the stores are getting ready so early. And that reminds me of the Green Day song “Macy’s Day Parade.”

“Give me something that I need
Satisfaction guaranteed
Because I’m thinking about
A brand new hope
The one I’ve never known
Cause now I know
It’s all that I wanted” – And I find these lyrics particularly interesting, today of all days. I don’t know how the elections are going to turn out in your area but I know in mine, people are ticked. They’re tired of the same-old-same-old from politicians on both sides. They’re disillusioned by the great hope our poor president promised two years ago.

I truly feel for the man. What a mess he has to clean up. A mess many people are expecting him to fix – and him alone. This recession, that was supposed to be over in the summer of 2009, seems far from over. Even if we wanted to celebrate with mass materialism, many people just can’t do it.

And I say? That’s a good thing.

We can blame Macy’s and Publix and the evil bankers on Wall Street. But when it comes right down to it, we’re the ones pulling out our credit cards and signing mortgage loans we have no idea how we’re going to honor. I read an article recently (I wish I remember where, but I don’t. Sorry!) that said 50 years ago the majority of Americans didn’t own homes and car loans were unheard of. You paid cash. You rented until you could put down a hefty down payment on a house. The only credit you used was with your local butcher or milkman.

We’re the ones getting sucked into the merchant’s insistence that we start celebrating (by spending, spending, spending on stuff we don’t need) early.

And we’re the ones who can show a little restraint.

Like my friend.

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Filed under All In A Day's Work, Be-Causes, Music, Observations

Tsk, Tsk Mr. President. Are You For Us Or Against Us?

We place high hopes in our presidents each time they take office. And me, Jane, Pollyanna of Blog World (ok, in the real world, too) was so energized and excited during the 2008 election year. It was wonderful to see people passionate about their candidates. This was not a campaign for the apathetic. People voted in droves. I loved the message of hope and renewal each presidential candidate promised, but that Barak Obama truly embodied.

President Obama is a great orator. And I believe all Americans hope and pray that he is the great leader his speeches imply he can be.

But then, he delivers a speech like this one at the University of Wisconsin.

President Obama spoke to a crowd at the University of Wisconsin on September 28th. First he said this,

“I hoped and expected that we could get beyond some of the old political divides between Democrats and Republicans, blue states and red states, that had prevented us from making progress for so long because although we are proud to be Democrats, we are prouder to be Americans.”

And then he said this,

“The other side would have you believe this election is a referendum on me or a referendum on the economy, a referendum on anything except them.  But make no mistake.  This election is a choice.  And the choice could not be clearer.”

And then this,

“If the other side does win, they will spend the next two years fighting for the very same policies that led to this recession in the first place.”

Whether we believe these comments is irrelevant.

What is relevant is that our President (and I mean our in every sense of the word) is pitting two sides of our great country against one another. To me, this is akin to a parent of two children, choosing the side of one child and egging that particular child on in the fight. Supporting him. Cheering for him.

Argue with me all you will but our President, my President should save this rhetoric for his own campaign speech. Now that he is in his elected office, his job should be to unite the country, not divide it.

Oh sure, his job right now is to drum up support for his party so that the nasty, evil step-child doesn’t snag the bigger bedroom.

There are other people who might be better suited for a divisive speech such as this. A leader in the democratic party who is not currently representing all constituents in their region.

There is a better place for this type of speech. A rally of Democrats, for example. Not a public forum of mixed company.

And there are ways to do this without causing a great emotional divide. 

First,  mention the names of the Democratic candidates you support in your speech. By name. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett. Or U.S. Senate Democrat, Russ Feingold. Tell America (or in this case, Wisconsin) to vote for them. Because you agree with their policy. Because you know they will work for all of us to better America.  Because they stand for what you think is right for America. Logically point out their value to the American people with examples.

But to pit both sides squarely against each other. To throw an emotional blanket over the issues at hand. To call the sides “us” and “them.” To lump all people with a D as the perfect child and all people with an R next to their name as the other, awful, evil step-child?

Suicide, my dear Mr. President. Suicide.

When I heard him calling it an us vs. them fight? (Insert loud scratching sound of the needle to the 33rpm record here.) I wanted to say, “Whaaaaaaaa?”

Didn’t you just say you are proud to be a Democrat but you are prouder to be an American? If you’re not about uniting this great country of ours, what are you about?

Every American out there that voted Republican in the 2008 election, that has been admiring your progress, enjoying the hope and change you have promised our dear country, will be offended. They will hear your rallying cry of us vs. them and they will side with the group they feel comfortable  and familiar with. They may even passionately show up to the polls in droves, hoping to defeat the golden child running against their underdog.

I have been a voting member of society for over 25 years now. Some of my candidates have won. Some have lost. But always. Always. I have supported the president that did get elected to office.

I don’t speak badly of my president.

Ever.

I may disagree. I may be embarrassed by his actions. I may hold my breath each time he opens his mouth to speak. But I stand firmly behind his leadership because he now represents ALL of America.

All of Americans.

All of us.

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Filed under Politics, Soapbox

It’s A Little Too Little, It’s A Little Too Late

“It’s a little too little
It’s a little too late
I’m a little too hurt
And there’s nothin’ left that I’ve gotta say
You can cry to me baby
But there’s only so much I can take
Ah, it’s a little too little
It’s a little too late” – Little Too Late written by Alex Call, performed by Pat Benatar
 

I saw a little bit of President Obama’s assurances to the US public that BP would get their comeuppance. 

NBC news

I wasn’t impressed. 

I wanted to be. 

But Mr. President? 

“It’s a little too little. It’s a little too late” 

Oh, sure. You get tough now. A week after BP CEO Tony Hayward started circulating his commercial apologizing to those affected by the disaster and pledging to clean up its mess. 

Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

 I’m so disappointed. 

In BP. In our President. In politics and big business. 

This is a horrible mess that affects so many lives and livelihoods and precious resources and beautiful wildlife. This apology and tough love is coming a little too late. 

And it smacks of politics as usual. 

(Don’t forget about our commencement speech challenge on Friday. To learn more click here!  And I discovered the prize on subWow’s blog Absence of Alternatives. Cool shirt and a great cause! See you Friday!)

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Before You Speak Walk A Mile In Their Shoes

It annoys me that I have to get my relatively unbiased news from BBC World News. (No offense to my friends across the pond.)  I live in the United States. I should be able turn on the radio or television here and get the facts. But NPR is very liberal. And Talk Radio is sooooo conservative. Fox News is not “fair and balanced.” It’s loud (all they do is shout!) and conservative. And CNN is continually being criticized for liberal editorializing. Just give me the facts, Ma’am.

About a year ago, I saw a political analyst on television critiquing our presidents over the last 50 years. (I’m sorry. For the life of me I can’t remember his name to give him full credit.) Good president or bad president, he seemed to give both democrats and republicans a fair shake. But he said something that really struck me about George W. Bush. He said that it’s going to be another 50 years before we can accurately evaluate his presidency. That, unfortunately, his entire presidency was colored by 9/11. Just eight months in office and he had to completely switch gears and deal with the most horrific act of terrorism on U.S. soil. From that moment on, every other goal President Bush had in mind was re-organized, re-categorized, re-prioritized. Having to make such a dramatic shift, having to put so much energy into keeping our country safe, surely other important issues suffered. It is difficult to criticize someone if we haven’t walked in their shoes.

And just this morning, I heard on the BBC, President Obama will be making a decision about our troops in Afghanistan. And none, I repeat NONE, of the four options involved taking troops out. ALL four options include bringing more troops in. And closing Guantanamo? Ain’t gonna happen any time soon. Nobody, and I mean nobody in the entire world, wants ’em. So to all of you disillusioned Obama supporters out there – it’s been less than a year. The man has a big job to do. We can’t criticize a man unless we’ve walked in his shoes.

I’m annoyed with how difficult it is to sort through the rhetoric to find undistorted fact. It is so easy to point fingers and blame. But maybe that’s our job to do. Maybe it is supposed to be difficult. In all of my sifting and searching and questioning I’ve come away with a much greater respect for what our world leaders are faced with and how truly difficult their job is to do. Think of the mother that is told that one of her four children is dying of leukemia and how that will instantly change how she parents EACH of her four children. Something so tragic that will color her entire job as mother. Or think of how any of us would react or do things differently if suddenly we were forced to lead in the rebuilding of a school or community that was touched with tragedy. Think Columbine. Each of our parenting and leadership styles are different. But we all have a common goal. And it would be pretty difficult for one of your neighbors to criticize any of your decisions not having walked in your shoes and seen what you’ve seen.

(While writing this post I found a very interesting site that seems pretty fact oriented about the Obama Presidency — PolitiFact.com — http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/)

(P.S. Don’t forget about our get together tomorrow Friday, November 13th. Collect the craziest search terms for your blog and we’ll all share them tomorrow!  You can write them in the comment section or blog about it – but don’t forget to link/comment here so we can all see them! See you tomorrow! I can’t wait!)

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Strong Marriages and Strong Role Models

I think providing a good example is one of the supreme responsibilities of our leaders. Say what you will about the last presidency, I think the strength of their marriage was evident. One of the things that I admired about President Bush and First Lady Laura was their strong commitment to each other.

gwbush

And from the looks of it, President Obama and First Lady Michelle and going to give us more of the same.

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Here’s to strong marriages and strong role models!

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