Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.


Send E-mail to the Editor at:

Search This Blog

A Desire of President Obama - To have Every Child in America Attend College

Saturday, February 28, 2009

There were so many points or so called objectives that President Obama wants to achieve as our President, one being to have every American to pursue some form of education beyond high school. Why? because currently, only two of every five American adults have a two or a four year college degree. One out of every four high school students drop out. To make it increasingly difficult, not even a high school diploma is no guarantee that a student is ready for college. Many low-income and minority students say that their intentions are to attend college. But only 50% of these students actually enroll. Even when they enroll are less likely to get their 'YES', but the high schools today need to get help in preparing EVERY CHILD to further their studies in college. The schools should prepare every student to advance to college, instead of just choosing those who appear to have the intellect and desire to go to college now. For his goal to be realistic, low-income and minority students need to attend college and actually get degrees. In today's world, a high school diploma is not enough to compete in the business and job markets of today. People with just high school diplomas have less than a 50-50 chance to be able to live a comfortable life in the average society in the United States. That is a shocking statistic, but it is so very important that children attending high school, do what it is necessary to get up to speed and enter college. Once qualified to attend college, the colleges should take up more responsibility to make their schools more affordable and focus on getting students in their doors, and helping them graduate with a degree of their choice.


Obama changes Bush's "right to conscience" rule - An Abortion Issue

President Obama has rescinded a Bush administration rule allowing health workers to refuse to perform abortions based on their personal religious beliefs. It appears that President Bush was more in tune to help the workers follow their beliefs instead of helping people who desired to have abortions. Obama on Jan. 23 reversed Bush's controversial "Global Gag rule," which cut off federal funding for international-aid groups that perform or provide information about abortions. The regulation, also known as the Mexico City Policy, had been in effect on and off since 1984. Advocacy groups last month sued the government over the so-called "right to conscience" rule, charging that it's unlawful. "We've been concerned that the way the Bush rule is written it could make it harder for women to get the care they need," an unidentified Department of Health and Human Services official told the Washington Post. "It is worded so vaguely that some have argued it could limit family planning counseling and even potentially blood transfusions and end-of-life care."   NBC's John Yang reports.


Obama Speech about Balancing the Budget

President Obama discusses how tax credits, improved health care and energy independence will help America move forward as he looks ahead in balancing the budget.


Pentagon lifts media ban on photos of war dead - Guess Who Initiated the Ban?

Yesterday, The Pentagon rescinded a long standing ban to photograph the coffins of the returning war dead. Now families have a say-so to choose which news organizations may photograph the arrivals of their loved ones.
You might wonder why photographs have been prohibited. Two words describe the reason. GEORGE BUSH. He inforced the band since 1991, which would not allow the pictures of troops kiled in Iraq and Afghanistan from appearing in the news coverage.  Now, the family of the fallen soldier has the right to make that decision.
The ban seemed very odd to me. President Bush would take young service men and women and put them into harms way. As to his defense, they were defending our country. But then, after the ultimate price is paid with a soldiers life, he didn't give the family the right to show the pictures of their loved ones from appearing on TV.
Who was he trying to protect here? What was he trying to hide? It appears that he was trying to protect himself, and trying to hide the ever gaining personal tragedies of families that were paying the ultimate price for George Bush's reckless invasion of Iraq.
In a saying from New Orleans, 'It's not over until the fat lady sings', is something that George Bush may have to realize if in the future he may be tried for war crimes. With his actions as President, he may be tried especially for the known torture that took place in the military as he acted as the commander and chief of the U.S. armed forces. But don't be so surprised if Obama and Bush have already struck up the deal for Obama to grant Mr. Bush a pardon, if some indictment appears trying to name Mr. Bush with incompetency as President. Now that Bush is no longer acting President, of course that means that he cannot face impeachment, but he will forever receive criticism about his actions as president.
The idea that George Bush would not allow the wishes families of fallen troops should be considered a disgrace by a President.


Official Portrait Unveiled

Friday, February 27, 2009

official portraitThe official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama was released today, February 27, 2009. The photograph was taken earlier this month and captures what many consider Mrs. Obama’s signature style. Shot by White House photographer, Joyce N. Boghasian, the portrait was taken in the Blue Room.
It is anticipated that Mrs. Obama’s portrait will be available online for purchase along with the official portrait of the President. In addition, it has now been added to the First Lady’s White House web page.
BTW: Michelle’s dress was designed by Michael Kors.
Posted by SjP of Sojourner’s Place.


Deficit Spending - Who Actually Started It ?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just as conservatives have stated, Obama will push spending way up, nearly $3.94 trillion in 2009 alone. Spending is expected to reach $3.55 trillion in 2010. Why does he have to do it? Well thanks to a conservative President named George Bush, Obama is now trying to fight the worst financial crisis in 7 decades.  In a report by MSNBC, the money would be equivalent to giving every taxpayer in the country $12,000.
In contrast, in mid 1998, the fiscal deficit dropped to zero. So the present deficit of 1.75 trillion is a result of the last 10 years. It should also be noted that when President Bush was elected, that's about when the downward spiral began, and it took a real dive when he invaded Iraq, without a solid reason. Take a look at the deficit chart below just to give you an idea what has happened since Bush was in office. In 2000, the chart shows $232 billion in surplus under President Clinton's watch.  The budget was balanced. Budget problems started when George Bush became President.


Troop Witdrawal Moved from 16 months to 19 months - Obama's First Broken Campaign Promise

In a move by Obama to leak out the fact that troops will stay in Iraq a few months more than promised in his campaign was highly calculated. Knowing that the eyes and ears and critics were going to focus on his speech to the Congress and the nation, President Obama made it known that he was not going to be able to  keep his promise on withdrawing troops in just 16 months of taking office. Prior to stepping down from the Presidency, President Bush made an agreement with the Iraqi government that all troops have to be out of Iraq by December 31, 2011. President Obama meanwhile will keep the troops in Iraq 90 days longer than he had promised originally, by August 2010. This will give the commanders in Iraq a little bit longer to organize and properly pull out gracefully. Even though President Obama has given the commanders this extra time, I'm hoping that Iraq knows that President plans to pull out the troops way before December 31, 2010. He will reiterate his decisions to troops at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Friday. This visit will be the first in his presidency to a military base.
Some of the Democrats or liberals are disappointed that President Obama is not keeping one of his promises in the campaign, but on the other hand, Republicans or conservatives must be happy of the announcement. Even after the fact, President Obama plans to leave somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 troops there on a non-combative mission to assist the Iraq government without military assistance. This should prove interesting, as violence most likely will break out, but Obama is determined by that time to let the Iraq government handle their own problems. But at the same time, President Obama is trying to keep the right balance between just ending the war with maintaining stability in Iraq.
According to Rep. John Hugh, Obama has what is called 'Plan B' just in case things deteriorate in Iraq and forces cannot leave on time. Only one could speculate what that may be. Whatever it is, he is determined to remove combative troops from Iraq in 19 months.


Governor Bobby Jindal - Responding to President Obama after his Address to Congress

Just when Republicans could take advantage of a moment in time with a rebuttal from a Republican Governor just 5 minutes after President Obama's address to the Congress and the nation, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal responded, just to draw flak from Republicans and Democrats alike. Hopes were that Jindal would become one of the top republican front runners in the 2012 Presidential race. Jindal tried to prove that he could successfully defend republican principals, but in direct comparison to the Presidents speech, he seemed to be out of touch with what the country is going through at the moment. Even the republicans, notably David Brook, who is a conservative New York Times columnist, called Jindal's arguments "insane" and 'tone-deaf' given the dire economic challenges the country faces. "to come up in this moment in history with a stale, 'Government is the problem, you can't trust the federal government' is just a disaster for the Republican Party," Brooks said on PBS' "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.""It's not where the country is, it's not where the future of the country is."
Even commentators of Fox news, in particular Juan Williams, criticized on Jindal's delivery. He called it "amateurish" and sounded "singsongy" "very simplistic and almost childish."
It was clear that Jindal could not compete with Obama in his oration after the speech by Obama, especially when most Americans and economists today believe what President Obama has done is right for the country. Critics of the stimulus bill, some republicans and democrats alike are mainly against it because they feel they don't know what is in it, even with President Obama's 'accountability' clause to account for everything that the government under his leadership does. The claim was that 1100 pages of a bill presented to Congress was just to big for the Congressmen to soak in, in less than 24 hours. Nevertheless, with just 2 republican senators voting for the measure, the bill passed.
Instead of trying to inform people that the country needs less government when the economy has tanked, Jindal sticks by core republican principles that what is needed is less government spending, not taking in account what has happened to this country under President Bush who did just that. Bush was more interested in pushing off terrorism instead of helping this country right on American soil, and Bush did nothing to help the economy, or prevent its demise.
  Jindal, who is taking very serious criticism, decided to take a break after his speech, and go to Disney World with his family, most likely with hopes to forget his speech, and also hoping that the country will stop focusing on what he said.
Unfortunately, along with his speech, he openly admits that he will turn down a portion of the money from President Barack Obama's stimulus plan, just because the money would be temporary.
In a ridicules response from Rush Limbaugh, he says "The people on our side are making a real mistake if they go after Bobby Jindal. We cannot shun politicians who speak for our beliefs just because we don't like the way he says it."
Not only did Rush Limbaugh contribute to the Republican demise with that statement, he openly stated in a way that Jindal is not capable of communicating.
I guess now the only person who is left to run for the Republicans in 2012 now is Mr. Rush Limbaugh himself.

Listen to comments below in a video news report by Keith Olberman on a show called "Countdown". Make up your own mind about the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal.


Promises by Obama - Can He Deliver? What Are Those Promises?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

President Obama set the tone of his administration with lofty promises that he plans to keep to the American people. He reiterated them in a speech in a joint session of Congress that was viewed by approximately 40 million people on prime time television.  Time will tell if President Obama can keep his promises. But, as was reiterated on CNN, he has all the right goals, but what the country needs is results. It is a very ambitious agenda, one that I believe this country needs right now. Republicans mostly agree that the private sector and business can solve the economic issues we presently face today, but top economists will tell you that the economy is so far out of control right now, that the only way to rescue it would be to have a stimulus bill that would provide the funds to handle the problems we are facing today.
President Obama is taking action, and so much more action than the previous President George Bush, that you can only wonder why President Bush allowed the economy to crumble during his Presidency. President Bush waited until a crucial time in the elections to finally admit that we were on the brink of an economic disaster. With his announcement at that time, he sent a devastating blow to his once rival campaigner John McCain. He effectively put him out of the race with his crazy timing to announce that the economy was in disastrous shape. I can recall that at that time, John McCain put his campaign on hold, to travel to Washington, and almost missed a debate with Barack Obama. President Bush not only hurt the Republican's chances to keep the White House, but gave Barack Obama excellent opportunities which he took to smear Bush, and compare John McCains policies like that of George Bush. You never once saw President George Bush campaign with John McCain, as he was actually a living poison to John McCain's chances for election. At times during the race, you could witness how McCain changed the tone of his campaign, also calling for change, away from the policies of George Bush.
Now that Barack Obama is the President, he is playing out "one of the greatest political dramas of our time." according to CNN political analyst David Gergen. The 'first 100 days' will be filled with action by a President that plans to fulfill his promises to the American people. The only thing to know now is can he fulfull one promise 'YES WE CAN', and how soon can he fulfill that promise.

As reported by CNN, the following are some of the promises that he has made.

Promise: "To ensure that a crisis of this magnitude never happens again, I ask Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our outdated regulatory system."
Promise: "I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office."
Promise: "My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time, but we have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade."
Analysis: Democratic strategist Lisa Caputo said so far, Obama is taking the right steps to revive the economy, but the country needs to see his plans put into action. He's already passed a massive stimulus bill, and he has a housing bill and a banking regulatory reform bill in the works.

Promise: "By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. That is a goal we can meet."
Promise: "It will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has access to a complete and competitive education, from the day they are born to the day they begin a career. That is a promise we have to make to the children of America."
Analysis: Rollins pointed out that this is the first time the federal government is taking a such a major role in education.
"We have $59 billion in this year's education budget. We added another $100 billion to build schools and do those things. That's never been the role of the federal government. So it's a whole new way to go, and obviously if it works, it may benefit the country," he said.
CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley said Obama's proposals are just the start of a new direction.

Promise: "We will invest $15 billion a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power, advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more efficient cars and trucks built right here in America."
Promise: "Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years." Video Watch Obama say, 'It begins with energy' »
Analysis: Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, said Obama laid out a "tall order" of what needs to be done, and tried to show how everything is connected.
"So he showed, here's the short term, which is stimulus, banking, housing. Here's the longer term: If we want to own the century, we have to deal with energy, education, health, for example, and connecting those things," he said.
"And one of the critical things is that it's not clear -- you know, the stimulus is great, we passed it, but it doesn't work unless the banks lend. The banks won't lend unless the housing sector stabilizes. So, it's -- this is much tougher than chewing gum and walking at the same time," he said.

Health care
Promise: "[The recovery plan] makes the largest investment ever in preventive care, because that's one of the best ways to keep our people healthy and our costs under control."
Promise: "To preserve our long-term fiscal health, we must also address the growing cost in Medicare and Social Security. Comprehensive health care reform is the best way to strengthen Medicare for years to come, and we must also begin a conversation on how to do the same for Social Security, while creating tax-free universal savings accounts for all Americans." Video Watch Obama explain his plans for health care reform »
Analysis: Larry Elder, a libertarian commentator, thought that Obama gave a "great political speech" but Elder questioned the president's economics.

Promise: "To relieve the strain on our forces, my budget increases the number of our soldiers and Marines. And to keep our sacred trust with those who serve, we will raise their pay and give our veterans the expanded health care and benefits that they have earned."
Analysis: Patricia Murphy, editor of Citizen Jane Politics, said she thought Obama's speech was strong, but she didn't follow Obama's math. Video Watch: How to cut defense spending »
"The problem in this speech, I think, is his promise to cut the deficit in half and layering on program after program after program, saying we'll pull the troops out of Iraq, but we'll increase the size of the military. Those numbers don't add up," she said.
CNN contributor Roland Martin on Tuesday compared Obama to rapper Kanye West. Martin: Obama's ambitious agenda is a good thing
All of the president's promises -- fixing health care, fixing the economy, halving the deficit, boosting funds to troops, curing cancer, achieving energy independence and solving Pakistan's problems, to name a few -- are just the markers in terms of his presidency, Martin said.


National Poll on Obama's Speech

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The polls have started, and it appears that in a national poll, at least 66% of the people that watched Obama's address to a joint session of Congress had a positive reaction of the speech. A vast majority of the people taking the poll claim that they are more optimistic now on the direction of the country, and a minority of people polled seem to think his speech has made them more pessimistic. Also, in a very favorable response, nearly 85% of the people who watched the speech also support the economic recovery plan. It will be interesting to see how the stock markets react to the speech, along with the conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh stated publically in a report that he wanted Obama to fail. But is seems highly unlikely after listening to the Obama speech to Congress and the nation, that regardless of what Rush says, at this point will not make any difference.
The delivery of the speech was what was expected. It was very substantive, full of information and facts to support his theories behind the economic stimulus bill. Noone seems to be able to deliver such a speech more elloquently than Barack Obama. He definitly has the gift of communication and the skills to get his ideas out to the people. He seems to be redefining the term 'Communication President' to go along with his other two titles, 'The Economic President' or 'the depression President.' One of these titles will depict his legacy.


Obama addresses Congress and The Nation

In a most ambitious well written speech, President Obama addressed the Congress and the nation tonight. An estimated TV audience of 40 million people watched as President Obama focused on three budget priorities that he will present to the Congress later in the week. The priorities are health care, education and energy. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that the budget has skyrocketed, and also the fact that the budget should drop in a few years as planned. But Republicans and Democrats say the only way to know if Obama's  plan actually works would be when Americans get back to work, banks start loaning money, and companies start hiring instead of laying off workers.
The reasons for the economic crisis is varied according to the President, but made sure to mention that it evolved because of government and individual decisions. Instead of investing in the future, a surplus of money was transferred to the wealthy. The lack of regulations were forsaken for quick profits because of a healthy stock market. People acquired loans that they could not afford to pay back, at a time when the banks did not properly qualify an individual for a mortgage, and when they couldn't afford to pay, foreclosures started. A snowball effect took place which ran down hill that triggered the recession, and President Obama stated says that we knew for decades that this day would come. But now, the day of reckoning has come. He claims that we must act quickly, boldly and wisely, to reinvest in the future, including jobs, health care, education and energy. Obama promises that the United States will recover from these tough times and be stronger than ever before. 

How do you think Obama did in his speech? Listen to the video below and try and make up your mind from a historical point of view?


President Obama Announces More Key White House Staff

Monday, February 23, 2009

Posted by rko

The White House Press office announced several more key White House staff today, including several AAPIs. Of the appointments below, AAFO would like to note in particular that Shin Inouye, the new Director of Specialty Media, worked with us extensively on planning community service events for the National Day of Service before the inauguration. Congrats to Shin and all of the other great people who will be serving our nation with President Obama.
“Today, President Barack Obama announced the following White House Staff: Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean, White House Research Director; Daniella Gibbs Leger, Director of Message Events; Macon Phillips, Director of New Media; Christina Reynolds, Director of Media Affairs; Dag Vega, Director of Broadcast Media; Dana E. Singiser, White House Office of Legislative Affairs, Amy Brundage, Regional Communications Director; Cammie Croft, Deputy New Media Director; Jason Djang, Deputy Director for Video; Corey Ealons, Director of African American Media and Coordinator of Special Projects; Shin Inouye, Director of Specialty Media; Jesse Lee, Online Programs Director; Katherine Lyons, Deputy Director of Message Events; Luis Miranda, Director of Hispanic Media; Moira Mack Muntz, Regional Communications Director; Katie Stanton, Director of Citizen Participation; Joelle Terry, Deputy Director of Message Events; Gannet Tseggai, Regional Communications Director; and Samantha Tubman, Assistant Social Secretary.
President Obama said, “Each of these individuals brings deep expertise in their fields, and a strong commitment to public service. I am confident in their abilities to fill these roles with distinction, and I welcome them to our team as we begin the work of bringing the change that the American people need in these troubled times.”
The following announcements were made today:
Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean, White House Research Director
Jarvis-Shean was the Head of Research for the Presidential Transition Team. Prior to that, she was Deputy Director of Content for the Obama campaign. She previously worked as a research and communications strategist at CNBC and as Vice President at IMS, Inc., a research consulting firm. A native of Sacramento, California, Jarvis-Shean studied at the University of Cape Town and was the fifth generation of her family to attend the University of California, Berkeley, from which she graduated with high honors in political science.
Daniella Gibbs Leger, Director of Message Events
Daniella Gibbs Leger was most recently the Vice President for Communications at American Progress. At the Center she specialized in domestic and economic policy, as well as the Center’s overall communications strategy. Prior to joining the Center, Daniella was Deputy Director of Communications at the Democratic National Committee. She began working at the DNC in June of 2002 in the political department as Communications Director for the Women’s Vote Center. During her tenure at the DNC, Daniella also handled African American and specialty media and was a regional media director during the 2004 presidential cycle. Daniella spent two years at the National Newspaper Publishers Association as their marketing associate and political liaison before joining the DNC. Before moving to Washington, D.C., Daniella worked at Sony Music in New York City for three years. Daniella has been a guest on numerous TV and radio shows and has been quoted in various print publications. Daniella holds a degree in Government and a minor in Sociology from the University of Virginia.
Macon Phillips, Director of New Media
Since the election, Phillips has served as Director of New Media for the Presidential Transition Team, developing and overseeing the transition’s overall online communications. Prior to that, he served as the Deputy Director of New Media for Obama for America, managing the day to day operations of the campaign’s online program. Before the campaign, Macon led Blue State Digital’s strategy practice, working with clients like the Democratic National Committee and Senator Ted Kennedy. A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Phillips is a graduate of Duke University and lives with his fiancée in Washington, DC.
Christina Reynolds, Director of Media Affairs
Reynolds was most recently the Director of Rapid Response for the Obama-Biden campaign. Prior to that, she was research director and senior communications adviser for John Edwards’ 2008 presidential primary campaign, and research director in 2004. She has also served as research director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Tim Johnson’s 2002 reelection campaign and as communications director for Tom Daschle’s 2004 campaign. Reynolds graduated from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dag Vega, Director of Broadcast Media
Most recently, Vega served as Director of Surrogate Press for the Obama campaign where he supervised the TV booking operation and managed the media outreach for elected officials and policy experts speaking on behalf of the campaign. Previously, he was Deputy Communications Director at the Democratic National Committee where he helped implement Chairman Howard Dean’s media strategy. A veteran of presidential races, he served as Deputy Communications Director for TV News during John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004 and a spokesperson for constituency media for Al Gore’s presidential bid in 2000. He also held communication positions in The White House Press Office during President Clinton’s administration.
Dana E. Singiser, White House Office of Legislative Affairs
Singiser brings over 15 years of political, campaign, and legal experience to her position as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. At the White House, she serves on the team charged with promoting President Obama’s legislative priorities with the U.S. Senate. During the 2008 election cycle, she focused on the women’s vote, first as Director of Women’s Outreach for then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign and then as Senior Advisor for the Women’s Vote to Barack Obama. Her other campaign experience includes serving as Deputy Political Director for Governor Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, and as staff on President Bill Clinton’s campaigns in 1992 and 1996. On Capitol Hill, Dana was Staff Director for the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee under the leadership of former Senator Clinton and Majority Leader Harry Reid. At the Committee, she led the effort to strengthen core constituency support for Democratic party positions. She practice law at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld for five years, and served in President Clinton’s Administration, both in the White House and the Department of Commerce. She grew up in Vermont and received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Amy Brundage, Regional Communications Director
Brundage most recently served as a spokesperson for the Obama-Biden Transition Team and as the Midwest Communications Director in the Chicago headquarters for Obama’s presidential campaign. Prior to the campaign, she served as then-Senator Obama’s Press Secretary in his Washington, DC office. Before joining the Obama team, Brundage was Senator John Kerry’s National Press Secretary. She also served as the Communications Director for Kerry’s political action committee in 2006. Brundage worked in the scheduling department in the national headquarters during Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, and joined Kerry’s Senate staff in early 2005. A native of Rockport, Massachusetts, Brundage graduated with a B.A. in both English and Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross.
Cammie Croft, Deputy New Media Director
Croft comes to the White House from the Obama-Biden Transition Project, where she served as the Deputy New Media Director, specializing in online communications. Prior to that, as the New Media Rapid Response Manager for the Obama for America campaign, she oversaw efforts to integrate new media and communications, including managing websites such as and Before joining the campaign, Croft built the tracking and media monitoring program at Progressive Accountability, a rapid-response communications advocacy campaign that provided video of Republican Presidential candidates for the mass public. Croft also worked as the Rapid Response Mobilization Director for Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, where she led their new media efforts, working with’s online tools to mobilize Americans opposed to the war. Croft holds a B.A. in Political Science and Communication from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she graduated with distinction. She is also an alumnus of the New Organizing Institute (NOI), a unique online organizing forum for technologically-savvy, progressive campaigners.
Jason Djang, Deputy Director for Video
Djang served on the New Media video teams for both Obama for America and the Obama-Biden Transition Project as an editor and producer. Prior to joining the campaign, he worked in documentary film and television in New York City and Los Angeles. Versed in all aspects of the production world, his experience includes commercials, broadcast series, and short films. Djang also has a background in church leadership and holds a Masters degree from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He earned his bachelors degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Corey Ealons, Director of African American Media and Coordinator of Special Projects
Ealons served as director of African American Media during the General Election for the Obama-Biden campaign. Prior to joining that operation he was deputy chief of staff and communications director for U.S. Representative Artur Davis of Alabama for six years. A communications professional for nearly 15 years, Ealons’ experiences include three presidential campaigns and active duty service as the public affairs director and photojournalist for the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard), the Presidential Honor Guard in Washington, D.C. Ealons graduated from the University Of Alabama School Of Communications with a concentration in public relations and political communications.
Shin Inouye, Director of Specialty Media
Shin Inouye was most recently a spokesperson for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Prior to that, he was the Constituency Communications Coordinator at the Obama for America campaign. In that capacity, he served as the communications officer for a variety of campaign constituency groups, including: LGBT, AAPI, First Americans, Veterans and Military Families, Youth, Seniors, Faith, Jewish, Rural & Sportsmen, Americans with Disabilities, and Ethnic. Before the campaign, Inouye was the Communications Director for Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-8), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. A member of the Congressman’s Senior Staff, Inouye served as an official spokesperson. Prior to that, Inouye was the Senior Legislative Communications Associate at the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union. During his tenure at the ACLU, Inouye played a key role in their “Keep America Safe and Free” campaign. He graduated with departmental honors from the Johns Hopkins University, with a degree in political science.
Jesse Lee, Online Programs Director
Lee worked in the New Media department for the Transition team doing online outreach, having done online communications for the Democratic National Committee during election season. Prior to that he was Senior New Media Advisor to Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the 110th Congress, having worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee online from 2004-2006. Lee graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 2002.
Katherine Lyons, Deputy Director of Message Events
Lyons most recently served as the Southwest regional spokesperson for the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Prior to that, she served as the Obama campaign’s Director of Message Events for the general election. During the presidential primaries, Lyons was New Hampshire Deputy Communications Director and spokesperson in a number of other states. Before joining the Obama campaign, Lyons coordinated communications and grassroots strategies for Dewey Square Group in California. A native of Sacramento, California, Lyons graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Luis Miranda, Director of Hispanic Media
Miranda was most recently Deputy Communications Director at the Democratic National Committee, overseeing regional and specialty press. In that capacity Miranda was the Democratic Party’s lead spokesperson for Hispanic and Spanish-language media. Prior to joining the DNC, Miranda worked for John Kerry’s presidential campaign, first starting the campaign’s internet communications program, and later working as a liaison to Hispanic media. Miranda has also worked with organized labor at the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) Florida State Council, among other things reaching out to the union’s Hispanic members. Miranda has also worked on campaigns at the local and state level, served as a Research Analyst at the DCCC, and worked as the Miami-Dade Field Director for the 2000 coordinated campaign in Florida, where he also worked on operations for the Florida recount.
Moira Mack Muntz, Regional Communications Director
Mack has advised and managed earned media strategy for numerous political, ballot initiative and issue campaigns. Most recently Mack served as deputy national press secretary for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, managing the candidate’s national interview requests. Mack spent three years at Hildebrand Tewes Consulting where she advised non-profit organizations, labor groups and U.S. Senate campaigns on communications and served as spokesperson and communications director for the multimillion dollar Iraq campaign advocating a timeline to end the war. As researcher and program coordinator at Campaign for America’s Future, Mack drafted policy materials on a variety of issues and coordinated the simultaneous release of television ads and state reports in nearly 50 states. A native of Albany, NY, Mack is a graduate of the George Washington University.
Katie Stanton, Director of Citizen Participation
Katie Jacobs Stanton joins the New Media team as Director of Citizen Participation. Prior to this role, Stanton was at Google where she was a Principal in the New Business Development team responsible for OpenSocial, Google Moderator, and various election-related initiatives. Also at Google, Stanton managed several real-time vertical products including Google Finance, Google News, and Blog Search. Stanton joined Google from Yahoo! where she helped build the investing program on Yahoo! Finance as well as lead Yahoo Finance’s growth internationally. Prior to Yahoo!, Stanton worked for Chase as an Associate in the Corporate Emerging Markets group. Her professional experience also includes a Fellowship at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a volunteer position in Kenya, and a teaching role in Japan. Stanton has an MA in International Affairs at Columbia University and a BA in Political Science from Rhodes College.
Joelle Terry, Deputy Director of Message Events
Terry most recently served as the Director of Communications Planning for the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee and as the Deputy Director of Surrogate Press during the General in the Chicago headquarters for Obama’s presidential campaign. In the Primary Terry served as the Surrogate Press Secretary. Prior to the campaign, she served as an Associate in the Dewey Square Group’s Sacramento office. In 2004, Terry worked in the regional press office in the national headquarters during Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and later as a member of the national advance team. A native of Sacramento, California, Terry graduated with a B.A. in International Relations from the University of California, San Diego.
Gannet Tseggai, Regional Communications Director
Tseggai started on Obama’s presidential campaign as the Iowa Deputy Press Secretary in 2007 and worked in five states during the primary. During the general election, she served as the Northeast Communications Director in the Chicago headquarters. Before joining the Obama campaign, Tseggai served as Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s Deputy Press Secretary from 2005 to 2007. Prior to her work for Senator Kennedy, Tseggai spent the 2004 election cycle working for Missouri Governor Bob Holden’s re-election campaign and John Kerry’s Presidential Campaign in Missouri and Ohio. Tseggai is a Rolla, Missouri native and graduated with a B.A. in both Political Science and Communications from the University of Missouri.
Samantha Tubman, Assistant Social Secretary
Tubman served as a Press Wrangler for President-Elect Barack Obama’s presidential campaign beginning in January 2008. She first joined the campaign as a member of the Scheduling and Advance Team in February 2007. Tubman previously served as Deputy Press Secretary for Governor Edward G. Rendell’s gubernatorial campaign in 2006. Prior to this, she worked as a legal assistant at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, DC from 2001-2004. Samantha received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Haverford College in 2001 and received her Master’s degree in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006.”

Share this story with the world!


Enough is Enough: BGA Demands Resignation of Senator Roland Burris


Posted : Sun, 22 Feb 2009 17:53:26 GMT
Author : Better Government Association
Category : Press Release

CHICAGO - (Business Wire) After his evolving series of explanations about the circumstances surrounding his Senate appointment culminating in the stunning revelation that he tried but failed to raise money for Gov. Blagojevich, today the Better Government Association (“BGA”), an 85 year-old nonpartisan government watchdog, called on U.S. Senator Roland Burris to resign immediately.

Acting Executive Director Dave Lundy issued the following statement:

“Senator Burris has stated that the media is to blame for his troubles and that he’s done nothing wrong. We could not disagree more.

“Given his bizarre statements this past week, we’re left with only two choices. Either he fails to understand why attempting to raise money for a corrupt governor while lobbying that governor for his appointment to the Senate is wrong, or, in his attempts to cover up his misconduct, he has lost track of his own tangled web of deception and lies. Either way, he is clearly unfit to serve even one more day as Senator.

“What is most appalling in this case is that Senator Burris is the former Attorney General of Illinois; the highest law enforcement officer in the State. Of all people, he should have known better. The people certainly deserve better. In this time of crisis, let’s end this sideshow and allow the people of Illinois to be fully represented.

“Every day we teach our children not to lie. Why should we accept less from our elected officials? Enough is enough. It’s time for Senator Burris to go.”

To replace Senator Burris, the Better Government Association favors the special election plan proposed by Governor Quinn and bipartisan members of the General Assembly.

About the Better Government Association

The BGA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit civic watchdog group. Since 1923 the BGA has fought waste, corruption and inefficiency in state and local government. The BGA is a membership supported organization that relies on personal and foundation funding for its operations. To learn more about the BGA and how to support it, please visit

Better Government Association
Dave Lundy, 312-953-1122
BGA Acting Executive Director


Republican Governors say they will Refuse Economic Stimulus Money for Their State

In bizarre statements, Republican governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Sarah Palin of Alaska and governors of Idaho, Mississippi and Texas have outwardly stated that they did not want any part of the economic stimulus money that would be on the way. Even if it would affect their state in a negative way, they would rather refuse money due them.
At least not all the Republican senators think that way. Recently, two senators  have responded to the senators that do not want the financial help. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand asked President Obama in a letter asking him to direct stimulus money turned down by other states to their state.

"New York receives 78 cents from the federal government for every dollar we send to Washington. If other states are willingly refusing federal support in this time of economic crisis, New York should benefit given our “donor state” status.…"
"If any governor — Democrat or Republican — leaves stimulus money on the table, then we respectfully request that funds be distributed to New York. We will put the money to good use, investing in education and new infrastructure, such as health care IT and high speed rail."

It's not every day that the Federal Government would be willing to help the Governors with these vast amounts of money destined to help the people overcome the economic issues facing everyone today. But these few Republican Governors and Senators have taken it upon themselves to voice their wishes as those of their constituants, the people that they serve, not taking in consideration what everyone may want. The governors should not have that right.


A Third Commerce Secretary in mind - Democratic Governor Gary Locke

Barack Obama will again try to fill the office of Commerce Secretary. In mind this time is Democratic Governor Gary Locke. This is a report given by CNN today. As a Chinese-American governor, his began his first term in 1996 and was re-elected in 2000.

You may remember the first two choices of Obama for Commerce Secretary. The first choice was New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, but he resigned before his confirmation because of a corruption investigation. Then came New Hampshire Senator. Judd Gregg who was a Republican, but withdrew his nomination because of vast differences in policies. Prior service include 5 terms in the House of Representatives. He chaired the House Appropriations Committee from 1989 to 1994.

He is also active as a lawyer, in private practice with Davis Wright Tremaine in a Seattle Washington office.


Barack Obama... The Economic President, or The Depression President?

Ok, now the the votes are in, President Obama asked for it. Does anyone remember how Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton before teaming up with Obama made the statement "The sky will open. The lights will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect!"It was just outward sarcasm by Hillary, as Obama claimed that it was evidence of her being a creature of Washington. But was Hillary correct? Now maybe history, the last 30 days of history, can prove her to be right.
During his campaign, President Obama's ideology was to bring the country's two political parties together. But  after putting the policies in place, especially the Economic Stimulus Plan, the two political parties could not be more divided. So now Washington is very divided, and depending who you may talk to, Washington could never been more further divided. Most Presidents promise bipartisanship in Washington, but they soon find out that it is almost impossible to achieve. Even President Clinton critiqued change in Washington, buy saying "The Washington of George Bush is the same Washington of Barack Obama. The promise of bipartisanship and hope in Washington is difficult to actually achieve." Even former President Clinton believed in the end of big government just 13 years ago, but President Obama will signal its return most likely in his speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
Most everyone in Washington believes that President Obama has taken most bold actions in his first 30 days in office, but he inherited the problems of George Bush, and will now be known in history as the Economy President, or the Recession President. Whatever they may call him, he as so much time left in his first term alone, to be called many other things. Many books should prevail on President Obamas "First 100 days".


World Economists Predict Tuff Times until Mid 2010

World Economists now claim in a survey that the recession will be far deeper than was previously expected. Now is anyone surprised? I'm not. They claim that the first half of 2009 will be a continued downward spiral of problems, with continued rising unemployment and the failing of businesses. But the second half of 2009 should prove to have modest gains, and then the boom in 2010 to follow. That is the expectation of the leading world economists. All this rests on how fast the lawmakers can get the money distributed as directed in the economic stimulus plan. Care must be taken on how it is done, as reckless handling of the money could actually hurt the administration. It is extremely important that the money be released as soon as possible, but at the same time, must be designated properly to all whom are destined to receive it.
As expected in 2010 with a solid recovery in motion, President Obama should cement his chances for re-election, as early as this 2nd year of his first term. Of course, other worldly issues may pop up from then until the elections, but President Obama seems capable of handling any issue, or at least an issue that immediately effects the people. He was hired to serve and protect the people, and regardless of what the conservative movement thinks or may say at the present time. Most people would agree that the United States would be the leader in the recovery from this global recession, followed by China, then Canada.
The unemployment rate would be the number one indicator of the success of the stimulus. When jobs start climbing instead of dropping, then people will gain confidence again, which will trigger more spending and business will again start to flourish. Technically then, the recession will be over.  It will be interesting to see how America can bounce back to pre-recession economic levels, while watching how the stock markets recover.


Emergency Hospital Care - Health Care Reform needs to Start NOW....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

In his promise to provide health care reform, President Obama wants to make sure that every American has accessibility to health care. Now what does this truly mean? Well for one thing, hospital care would have to be totally re-vamped. Why? Well have you ever had to make a visit to one of the nations Emergency Rooms lately? Well I have, and let me tell you, it can be most unpleasant.
Here you are, in the emergency room because of what you consider an emergency, but reaction by the hospital is that your emergency can wait. Here you sit, and sit and sit.
I had another most repeated experience as I dealt with another visit to the hospital because of the ailing condition of my mother. She is a dialysis patient, and has constant issues with swelling and infections. It turned out to be a most unpleasant experience for her and for my wife and I who took the trip with her.
In an effort to spare my mother a trip in an ambulance, I decided to drive her to the hospital, where we then had to wait 4 hours, from 10:30PM until 2:30AM before she was actually taken in the back to be tended to. That was outrageous, but also just the fact that there were so many people waiting, for hours and hours on end.
The fact is, the hospitals are overwhelmed with patients these days, especially the emergency rooms that cannot handle so many strays of people, some of whom are there just because they don't have insurance and cannot go and see a doctor.
That brings me to my next question. What will the hospitals do now if Obama successfully provides medical care to 'everyone' as he has made another campaign promise to do so. I would hate to have to go to the hospital now in an emergency. Maybe the only way to go to the hospital would be to take the ambulance, as then they would just wheel you into the emergency room and you wouldn't have to wait, or will you? If they are so overcrowded now, maybe at that time, they may not have any hospital beds available.
The sickening thing you see every time you arrive at the hospital, that there are so many people that need 'immediate' attention, and they are waiting for hours before they can see someone. A person with broken bones, to someone who is having a hard time breathing, it makes no difference. You just have to wait, in a room called 'the emergency room' where everything seems to be handed as 'not an emergency'.
To make this long story short, I had to wait 4 hours in the emergency waiting room, then another 4 hours in the emergency room, just to be told that there was not much wrong with my mother, whom had a very apparent swelling in her dialisis access arm, who was screaming of pain just a few hours earlier. We waiting another few hours, as I was now up for nearly 27 hours straight, for her surgeon to take one look at her and tell her that she needed to be admitted.
What the emergency doctor does not know, but he will be know soon, is that I intend to pursue charges against him, along with bringing this very unfortunate experience to light in another blog that I will create. It's new address - HOSPITAL COMPLAINTS.NET will be available for everyone to read very soon. I would ask that anyone who wants to talk about an experience at their hospital, can also share their experience with others on the new website. I encourage people to stand up for what they believe in and express their thoughts on their experiences in hospitals.
My personal schedule if very busy, as I have many obligations at work, along with taking care of my family at home. There seems to be less and less time for me to write this blog.. But I will write when I can, to help everyone keep up with President Obama and the state of this country. In the meantime, I plan to find more time to write in my new blog. I hope that everyone who visits me here will want to visit the new blog soon. It will begin with my experience at the local hospital that I go to, and I'm hoping that it will contain experiences that you may have had in the past and in the present.
In my opinion, health care reform needs to start with reforming what we already have, a system that is broken, outdated, and we should be ashamed to show the world what we are here at home regarding health care facilities and policies that are adhered to at hospitals.
President Obama, now is the time to make another bold move, and truly revamp the medical field, in every aspect, provide health insurance to everyone, or at least provide good emergency care to everyone who seeks it. Let's not make the same ill-fated promises as some of our past Presidents have done.


"Because of what we did" instead of "Yes, we can" Promising to cut the fiscal deficit in half by 2013.

In another bold statement, Barack Obama pledges to cut the fiscal deficit in half by 2013. With his overwhelming spending within just a month of taking office, President Obama signed a $787 billion Economic Stimulus Bill, but still, claims that he will cut the deficit. This is a very interesting statement, leaving him very prone to Conservative comments, as this would mean that he doesn't plan to spend any more money between now and then. How could that be possible?  With this announcement, Presidet Obama is trying to keep alive one of his campaign pledges, which was to roll back the tax cuts that were made by George W. Bush. One thing is for sure, President Obama intends to make it twice as hard for a possible Republican president to unravel his thinking and actions if Obama fails and looses his bid for re-election in 2012. After all, I guess it is fair after considering what President Bush left Obama to deal with when he left office.
Regardless of what he says about the fiscal deficit, President Obama plans to move forward with health care, energy and education.  This was confirmed by Obama's senior advisor David Axelrod, as Axelrod says "These are the bulwark of a strong economy moving forward."
In his very busy schedule these days, President Obama gave his weekly address to the nation, and he outlined what the stimulus package and the home foreclosure plan can do to turn the economy around.  In his very positive message to the people, he changed his campaign message of  'yes we can' to 'because of what we did', as President Obama outlines some of the highlights and benefits of the Economic Stimulus bill that has just been passed. Watch his video below..


Obama's visit to Canada - A Traditional trip for U.S. Presidents since 1923

On Thursday Feb, 19, 2009, President Obama hopped on Air Force One and flew north, taking his first foreign trip to Canada. Most presidents dating back to Warren Harding in 1923 have taken their first maiden foreign voyage as President to Canada.
President Bush was not one of those Presidents. Instead he traveled south to Mexico during his first foreigh visit in 2001 to work an immigration deal with Mexico. So right from the start, he was deviating from the historical pattern that most Presidents take after taking office. 
Canadian-U.S. bilateral trade was one of the topics between Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Harper says that he might be willing to negotiate but not by "opening the whole NAFTA and unraveling what is a very complex agreement." Canada is the United States' largest trading partner and with $1.5 billion in trade between the two nations, they have the largest trading relationship in the world.
One of the people surprisingly enough to actually read the Stimulus Package was Harper. He mentioned to President Obama that a quote in it to "buy American",  a quote that the Congress added to the $787 billion billion economic stimulus package and said "We expect the United States to adhere to its international obligations. I can't emphasize how important it is that we do that."
Like George Bush, the conservative leader Harper was close to President Bush 'personally and on policy.' But there was a clear understanding that he was going to support the now more popular Barack Obama.
It was a very pleasant 7-hour visit by Barack Obama to Canada.


Obama sending at least 12,000 troops to Afghanistan, Fullfilling Another Campaign Promise

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In an effort to make good his promise to send more troops to Afghanistan, President Obama approved on Tuesday a significant troop increase  in the country. At least 8,000 Marines from a popular marine base called Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and 4,000 troops from Fort Lewis, Washington will be scheduled to depart to Afghanistan soon.
Again, in just three weeks, President Obama has taken a commanding control of the Presidency, and up to this point, continues to sport a very high approval rating from the American public.


The $787 Billion Economic Stimulas Bill is now the Law of the Land

Vice President Joe Biden looks on as President Barack Obama signs the economic stimulus bill on Tuesday during a ceremony in Denver.

Obama signed the $787 billion Economic Stimulus bill today, which is now known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It's too early to tell if it's going to work, because the money hasn't started flowing yet. President Obama acknowledged the fact as he said "Today does not mark the end of our economic troubles,"
The year of 2009 will prove disastrous to the American people. It will take nearly the entire year before the people start to feel the effects of the Economic Stimulus bill.
Now, the only thing we can do as citizens of this country is wait and see. More people will loose their jobs, and more people will loose their homes, while savings accounts will dwindle.  If the economy picks up pretty quickly, then the President will gain more popularity, and most likely will already be enough to get him re-elected in 2012. But if the economy continues to tank, and continue in its spiral downfall as it is presently, President Obama will loose his popularity and most likely will not run for a second term. His fate is already sealed with the stroke of his pen when he signed the bill into law today. His job is riding on it. He is not a quitter by any means, but if he acknowledges that he has done a travesty for the people of this country, I think he would want to step down. But then again, the great life for him and his family will be something that he would not like to relinquish so easily. Living in the White House, and to be the most powerful man in the world, is something that he worked hard to achieve.  Regardless, I truly believe that Barack Obama is trying to do everything he can to turn this country around and pull it out of economic disaster. At this point in time, no other person seems to have the ability to do so.
It is also apparent that only a Democratic President, one who is willing to take the chance in order to right the economy of the entire world, would be a leader that we need in this modern time. Could either Presidents Bush be able to handle the economy. I think not, because both of the Bush's refused to think that the economy was failing. I believe that the economy showed signs of a downward trend years ago, but President Bush did nothing to prevent what has happened. His advisers had to have had some information that the economy was tanking some time ago.
President Bush inherited the title as the President that fought terrorism. He didn't have a choice. President Obama has inherited the title as the Economic President. He did have a choice, and in just 3 weeks, he now has the credit of pushing the largest bill through Congress regardless of how reckless some liberals and conservatives think of how he may have accomplished his goal.
The real test will be the jobs situation. When the job market rises and people feel secure again to purchase, businesses will thrive again, and the stock markets will again start their steady rise.

Only time will tell.


Letterman : Senator Barack Obama delivers 'The Top Ten Campaign Promises'

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In a serious time in our country, sometimes it's refreshing to look back, even over a year ago when Barack Obama was still Senator of Illinois. On Letterman in January of 2008, Obama delivers ' Letterman's top Ten' campaign promises. It was interesting to think of who he named as his vice president a year ago. Watch and listen to the video below.....


The 'Fairness Doctrine' - may come back?

Often, I find myself listening to conservative radio, as I enjoy listening to talk shows while driving, but I've always wondered, where are the liberal stations, those who support our President and his policies. I'd like to develop a well-rounded opinion on the political issues, as I try to convey what I read and what I hear into information presented in this blog.
All day long, you can hear commentary on WBAP radio 820AM in Dallas Texas starting with the Mark Davis show at 8:30AM, Rush Limbaugh at 11:00AM, Sean Hannity at 2:00PM, Mark Levin at 5:00PM and Laura Ingraham at 8:00PM. What you will hear is constant slamming of our President and everything he stands for. Yes, we do have the freedom of speech, but just how far equals too far. You will hear some of the most 'far right' thinking on the planet right there on talk radio WBAP AM.
This brings up another point. Where is the balance. According to President Clinton, "government should either bring back the "Fairness Doctrine" or have more programs that present the other side". He says, "Because essentially there’s always been a lot of big money to support the right wing talk shows and let’s face it… Rush Limbaugh is fairly entertaining even when he is saying things that I think are ridiculous,” said the former president.
The FCC found that the Fairness Doctrine was unconstitutional in 1987, which required broadcasters to air both sides of controversial topics such as politics or the President. The Democrats tried to bring the Fairness Doctrine back, but the Republican President Ronald Reagan vetoed the effort.
So now may be the time for  President Obama to re-think the idea of bringing back the 'fairness doctrine'.  Look out Rush Limbaugh.. You might have to share your "broadcast excellence" on WBAP  with me while listening to Liberalism 101 on WBAP. By the way, it wouldn't cost a penny to listen to my broadcasts on the internet.


The Truth About the Stimulus Bill - A Report by CNN Jack Cafferty

When I started this blog, I vowed to bring you the true facts centered around Barack Obama. Barack is about to sign a stimulus bill today in Chicago, a bill that is supposed to help clean up the economic mess we are in today.
In a commentary by CNN Jack Cafferty, says most everything about the bill is wrong, including a pledge violated by the House to make the stimulus bill public at least 48 hours before the vote. Everything was so very rush, rush with this bill. It was so rushed that President Obama wanted it on his desk on Monday, President's day, no matter what.
Where was the President? Answer: The President was on his way back from a weekend home with family in Chicago. Where was the Economic Stimulus bill? Answer: Setting on his desk in the Oval Office. Did he sign the bill on Monday? Answer:  No. President Obama wants to sign it on Tuesday in Denver.
Wait just one minute. This is getting confusing..
He wanted the bill signed on Monday, but after the vote, he decided that he now wanted to sign it on Tuesday.  Ok.. The bill is setting on his desk at the Oval Office on Monday.  He returns from Chicago to pick up the bill. He then heads back to Air Force one after a few meetings to fly to Denver with the bill, to sign it in Denver on Tuesday..
What's wrong with government spending here? It looks as if President Obama is really getting a kick out of flying Air Force One around the country on taxpayers money. Where is 'accountability' here.  Was it necessary that he fly back from Chicago just to pick up the bill and sign it in Denver? Was there another method of getting the Stimulus package to the President ? Maybe one of his secret service agents could have flown it to him. Regardless, he now has the bill that he will sign today in Denver.
Back to the beginning thought here, Jack Cafferty is presenting some facts here that the public needs to know. Therefore I am reprinting the entire report immediately below by this CNN writer on what he calls  "the Stimulus Bill a sorry spectacle."

Commentary: Stimulus bill a sorry spectacle

By Jack Cafferty
Editor's Note: Jack Cafferty is the author of a new book, "Now or Never: Getting Down to the Business of Saving Our American Dream," to be published in March. He provides commentary on CNN's "The Situation Room" daily from 4 to 7 p.m. You can also visit Jack's Cafferty File blog.
Jack Cafferty

Jack Cafferty says the House violated a pledge to make stimulus bill public 48 hours before vote.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- What a joke. Your Congress has voted to spend almost $790 billion of your money on a stimulus package that not a single member of either chamber has read.
The 1,073-page document wasn't posted on the government's Web site until after 10 p.m. the day before the vote to pass it was taken. I don't care if you're Evelyn Wood, you can't read almost 1,100 pages of the lawyer talk that makes up all legislation in eight or 10 hours.
The criminal part of this boondoggle is divided into two parts. The first is the Democrats promised to post the bill a full 48 hours before the vote was taken to allow members of the public to see what they were getting for their money. Both parties voted unanimously to do this ... and they lied.
It didn't happen. Why am I not surprised? Congress lying to the American people has become part of their job description. They can't be trusted on anything anymore.
I'm sure part of the reason there was no time for the public to read the bill was the 11th-hour internecine warfare between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
When Reid first announced the compromise had been reached, Nancy Pelosi was nowhere to be seen. And it would take an act of God for this egotistical, arrogant woman to miss a photo op where she could take credit for anything. But she wasn't there.
She summoned Reid to her office, where unnamed sources said she blew her top over some provision for schools that she wasn't happy with. Pelosi's snit delayed everything.
It's really too bad President Obama couldn't figure out a way to jettison these two who are poster children for everything that is wrong in Washington. The Associated Press called the birth of the stimulus bill "sausage making" in the best tradition of Washington politics as usual.
The second part of the crime is the contents of the bill itself. Far from being only about jobs, infrastructure and tax cuts as promised, the stimulus bill stimulates a bunch of other stuff as well. Eight billion dollars for high-speed rail lines, including a proposed line between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. This little bit of second story work wasn't even in the House version of the bill.
It started in the Senate as a $2 billion project, and came out of the conference committee costing a whopping $8 billion. Gee, now who would that benefit? Oh yeah, the Senate majority leader is from Nevada.
Filipino veterans, most of whom don't live in the U.S., will get $200 million in compensation for World War II injuries. And: $2 billion in grants and loans for battery companies, $100 million for small shipyards and a rollback of the alternative minimum tax at a cost of some $70 billion.
The AMT provision is much-needed legislation, but it doesn't belong in the stimulus bill. It forced other things out so Congress could keep to its self-imposed $800 billion cap.
And when it comes to the tax cuts contained in the stimulus bill, experts have determined they will amount to about $13 per week after taxes for the average American. I'm not sure how much stimulation $13 a week buys. It depends on the neighborhood.
The biggest problem of all is the stimulus bill may not be nearly enough. And if the president has to come back asking for more, the next time might not be so easy.
So far, we have an anemic stimulus bill and some sort of vague proposal from the secretary of the Treasury to deal with the banking crisis -- a proposal that landed with a thud last week -- as the two first steps toward solving a financial crisis that is threatening to take down the country.
Obama better step up his game, or it's going to be a short four years in office.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jack Cafferty.


Harsh Criticism on the 'Economic Stimulus Bill' by Republicans and Democrats

Monday, February 16, 2009

As expected, it's only Monday, and there is a ton of fallout from the Republican and Democratic base about the economic stimulus bill. Normally, you would see such a thing, but with the lack of bi-partisanship for the passage of the the bill, Obama must now face criticism from the conservative base, starting off with John McCain. According to McCain,

"It was a bad beginning because it wasn't what we promised the American people, what President Obama promised the American people, that we would sit down together," McCain told CNN's "State of the Union With John King." 
As the editor for this blog, I kind of agree with him. The $787 billion survived Congress with only 3 Republicans voting for it. They were Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Obama is expected to sign the bill on Tuesday in Chicago. But at the same time, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on CBS "Face the Nation" said that
"We're happy that Congress, in a bipartisan way, took steps to make whatever happens in this recession easier to take for the American people." 
Again, as an opinionated edited of this blog, I know that President Obama made an effort to reach out to Republicans to gain support for the bill, but I do not believe he did enough. With the bill passing the way that it has done, Obama will have a very difficult time in the future to bring Republicans on board with his kind of thinking. If the bill wasn't as critically needed, I highly doubt if the three Republican Senators would have voted for it. Several Democrats voted against the bill.
Now that it has passed, a good majority of Congressmen do not even know what is in it. Some claim that they did not have the time to read the 1100 page document. In the future, there will have to be changes made, and agreement to the changes will be more than just difficult to achieve by the new President. Again, I keep thinking of 'accountability' here. Who wants to be accountable for a bill that is supposed to bring so many people back to work; where Senators pencil in added items that cost taxpayer money, and then is approved by a Congress that has no real control in situations like this. The President would argue that they do have control.
Again, I am all for 'a stimulus bill' but what we now have verses what we really need remains to be seen. The bottom line is that the economy must now rebound; people must go back to work; 3 million jobs need to be created; businesses must start growing again; the unemployment rates must drop dramatically; less dependence on foreign oil must be a high priority with progress made during Obama's first term; the auto industry and banking industry problems must be resolved. All this must now happen as results from this economic stimulus bill that President Obama now has to sign and make law as early as tomorrow.


Beverly Eckert Writes About Her Passion - Finding the Truth About 9/11

Sunday, February 15, 2009

All who read the news or listen to CNN by now know of a very special person who died in the plane crash in Buffalo last week. Her name was Beverly Eckert. Her husband was killed on that fateful morning when the planes hit the twin towers and within 2 hours, they both collapsed. Shortly after, she filed a suit rather than to accept a payoff from the 9/11 victims compensation fund. Since then, she has been fighting for her cause. Below is her story, published in USA today on December 19, 2003. I find it very interesting reading, and I hope it will bring a little more insite to this special woman who fought for her beliefs. Now that she is gone, and now that President Obama has been briefed on what the Federal Government actually knows about 9/11, will the real truth be ever known. President Obama  openly admits 'transparancey' will be the law on his watch,  but until we really know, read this special story below by Beverly Eckert......

Published on Friday, December 19, 2003 by the USA Today
My Silence Cannot Be Bought
by Beverly Eckert
I've chosen to go to court rather than accept a payoff from the 9/11 victims compensation fund. Instead, I want to know what went so wrong with our intelligence and security systems that a band of religious fanatics was able to turn four U.S passenger jets into an enemy force, attack our cities and kill 3,000 civilians with terrifying ease. I want to know why two 110-story skyscrapers collapsed in less than two hours and why escape and rescue options were so limited.
I am suing because unlike other investigative avenues, including congressional hearings and the 9/11 commission, my lawsuit requires all testimony be given under oath and fully uses powers to compel evidence.
The victims fund was not created in a spirit of compassion. Rather, it was a tacit acknowledgement by Congress that it tampered with our civil justice system in an unprecedented way. Lawmakers capped the liability of the airlines at the behest of lobbyists who descended on Washington while the Sept. 11 fires still smoldered.
And this liability cap protects not just the airlines, but also World Trade Center builders, safety engineers and other defendants.
The caps on liability have consequences for those who want to sue to shed light on the mistakes of 9/11. It means the playing field is tilted steeply in favor of those who need to be held accountable. With the financial consequences other than insurance proceeds removed, there is no incentive for those whose negligence contributed to the death toll to acknowledge their failings or implement reforms. They can afford to deny culpability and play a waiting game.
By suing, I've forfeited the "$1.8 million average award" for a death claim I could have collected under the fund. Nor do I have any illusions about winning money in my suit. What I do know is I owe it to my husband, whose death I believe could have been avoided, to see that all of those responsible are held accountable. If we don't get answers to what went wrong, there will be a next time. And instead of 3,000 dead, it will be 10,000. What will Congress do then?
So I say to Congress, big business and everyone who conspired to divert attention from government and private-sector failures: My husband's life was priceless, and I will not let his death be meaningless. My silence cannot be bought.
Beverly Eckert, whose husband died at the World Trade Center, is the founder of Voices of September 11th, a victims advocacy group.
© Copyright 2003 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.


Move Over Joe the Plumber: Meet "Julio the Fry-Guy"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

From the 'Eyes of Obama' Blog

President Barack Obama seems to have a way of turning people who ask him questions into overnight internet sensations.

First was Samuel Wurzlebacher - A.K.A. Joe the Plumber - who became a fixture of conservative politics after he asked then-Senator Obama how his tax plan would effect people like Joe, who said he was contemplating buying a business. Since then, Joe appeared on the campaign trail with John McCain, traveled to Israel as a war correspondent for a right-wing news outlet, wrote a book, addressed Congressional Republicans and their staffs, and now, is considering a bid for Congress himself. He additionally took the opportunity to repeatedly slam not only Obama (whom he labeled a “socialist”), but also John McCain, the media, liberals, and just about everybody in the world except Sarah Palin and anyone who falls to her right on the political spectrum. Of his pending Congressional campaign, Joe made this gem of a statement: “I don’t know if the American public deserves me.”
Julio Osegueda, it’s your turn.
Osegueda, a part-time student and McDonald’s employee, attended a town hall meeting with the President in Florida on Tuesday about the economic stimulus plan, and was called on to ask the final question of the day. I’ll let the video tell you the rest:

You have to admire Osegueda, if for no other reason than his incredible enthusiasm and graciousness.
The primary reason Joe (Sam) the (unlicensed) Plumber become the media sensation that he did was because of the perception that Wurzlebacher represented mainstream America. And to be fair, there are some elements of old Samuel that are shared by many across this country. Namely, he was worried about how much money is going to be taken out of his paycheck every month.
But here’s the big difference: Joe the Plumber is a pompous, obnoxious, know-it-all. He’s an expert on nothing who nonetheless pontificates his opinions on everything. He’s an opportunist, a hypocrite who thinks that although he deserves a bailout for tax liens assessed against him for his failure to pay (a radio station raised money to not only pay his taxes for him, but also pay for the plumbing license he didn’t have), he doesn’t think you deserve a dime of government assistance, no matter how bad your situation may be.
Contrast that to Julio the Fry-Guy. Julio is working to make himself- and by extension, the American workforce- stronger, more competitive, and more able to contribute to the economy of this country. He’s working hard in a job that pays little, and spending time bettering his education at a local state university. He was there at the forum to educate himself on the issues facing this country, and let’s be honest: I’d estimate that by attending that town hall, he’s done more to educate himself about the stimulus bill than 50% of the voting public. To top it off, he was incredibly positive and gracious. He didn’t slam Republicans, and I hope he doesn’t.
Of course, that didn’t stop the right from slamming him. Rush Limbaugh mocked him: “I don’t know how the guy got in college.” Keep in mind, Limbaugh failed out of Southeast Missouri State and never went back.
Already, Julio has gotten a call from a minor league baseball team asking him to help do color commentary on their opening day program. The communications major jumped at the opportunity, again, to jeers from the right. They seem to forget everything that Joe (Sam) the (unlicensed) Plumber is doing now that he otherwise wouldn’t be.
All in all, while Joe the Plumber might have represented what America once was, Julio represents what it should be. He represents the American dream, that anyone- if they work hard enough- can advance by doing their job, going to school, and reaching for the stars. But all along the way, he should never have to worry about being sidetracked en route to his goals because he can’t afford health insurance or because banks offer him sneaky loan packages and foreclose on his home.
Do your thing, Julio. Work hard, and inspire other people along the way. And when you have a minute, maybe you could give old Joe (Sam) the (unlicensed) Plumber a few tips on humility.


Obama says stimulus is 'major milestone on our road to recovery'; GOP's Murkowski says it's not

President Obama uses his weekly video/radio address to hail the late Friday passage of the $787 billion economic stimulus package that he and his fellow Democrats supported. And he says of the economic challenge the nation faces that:

"America, we will prove equal to this task. It will take time, and it will take effort, but working together, we will turn this crisis into opportunity and emerge from our painful present into a brighter future. After a week spent with the fundamentally decent men and women of this nation, I have never been more certain of that."

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski delivers the weekly Republican address.

She says that:
"Democrats, it seems, settled on a random dollar amount in the neighborhood of $1 trillion and then set out to fill the bucket. Republicans, on the other hand, thought that we should figure out what was at the root of the problem, and then see how much it would cost to fix."


Stimulus Aims to Pump Life Into US Economy

13 February 2009

This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

American lawmakers agreed this week on an economic recovery plan. Negotiators got it below seven hundred ninety billion dollars. They cut tens of billions from versions in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The compromise measure needed final passage in Congress for President Barack Obama to get his wish to have it by Monday to sign into law.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference Friday after the House passed the final version of the economic stimulus bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference Friday after the House passed the final version of the economic stimulus bill
About thirty-five percent of the rescue plan is tax cuts for individuals and businesses. Sixty-five percent is government spending. That includes more than fifty billion dollars in aid to states. And it includes money for roads and bridge projects as well as investments in health care, education and energy. The plan also calls for expanded aid for people without jobs or health insurance.
The economic recovery plan is the largest since President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal during the Great Depression in the nineteen thirties.
Republicans continued to criticize Democrats for not including more tax cuts. They say the plan contains wasteful spending that will do little to create jobs and will leave mountains of debt for future generations.
The Senate passed its version this week with just three Republican votes. There was no Republican support in the House, even for the final bill approved Friday.
On Thursday, President Obama said his plan will save or create more than three and a half million jobs over the next two years. To what extent that goal will be met is not clear. But that is the number of jobs lost since the recession began in December of two thousand seven. Unemployment has reached seven and six-tenths percent, the highest rate since nineteen ninety-two.
The president spoke in Illinois to workers at Caterpillar. The maker of earth moving equipment recently announced twenty-two thousand job cuts.
The president told the workers that the head of the company said the stimulus plan could save some of those jobs. Chief executive Jim Owens later told reporters, however, that even more jobs may go.
President Obama returned to his home state of Illinois to celebrate the two hundredth birthday of President Abraham Lincoln. But while he was away from Washington, his nominee for secretary of commerce announced that he was withdrawing.
The president nominated Judd Gregg, a senator from New Hampshire, last week to be the third Republican in his cabinet. But Senator Gregg said he had differences with the Democratic administration on policy issues including the stimulus plan.
An earlier choice for commerce secretary, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, withdrew because of a legal investigation. Two other Obama nominees withdrew over tax issues.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said it became clear that Senator Gregg was not going to support some of the president's economic aims. He said the senator offered his name for the job and "We regret that he has had a change of heart."
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve Ember.


  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP