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.


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Saturday, June 26, 2010


Over the past week, I've been tracking a tropical storm that was not too organized in the Eastern Carribean. As most people know, this is the time of the year for tropical storms to form, and when conditions are right, can sometimes turn into strong storms known as hurricanes. There is one such storm now that will be entering the Gulf of Mexico soon. This is kind of bad news for the folks that live down along the coast line, especially since these people have been so overwhelmed about oil entering the Gulf from a broken line at the bottom of the Gulf owned by BP. The good news is that now it seems as if the storm may track to the West NorthWest, bringing it on land on the west side of the Gulf. This may be bad news for residents along the Gulf coast from Corpus Christi Texas and further west.

If you are interested in following tropical weather conditions as I do, and would like to be kept up to date on what is happening now, anywhere in the world concerning tropical weather, then you may want to visit MY NEWEST BLOG, called Hurricane Prevention, and get all the information you would need to keep up to the happenings of a present storm.

Presently, the tropical storm we are concerned about is Tropical Storm ALEX. It is the first tropcial storm designated with a name for the 2010 Hurricane Season, and unfortunately, there are new weather patterns developing off the coast of Africa at this time that most likely will track in our direction.

I invite all readers of this blog to stop by and visit the new weather blog.. If you have any comments regarding the new blog, you can drop me a note directly at, and I will definitely review it and take your concerns into consideration. Also, there is a CBOX located on the left edge of the blog for you to leave instant comments if you like. If you own your own blog, I'll add your link if you ask


Announcements for Newest Member of the Family

When a child is born, it happens to be one of the greatest days in a mothers and fathers life. It is a time that many people jump for joy, and sometimes go through extremes to let the world know of their new baby. Most of the time, it's just a simple phone call but other times, it can be made through personalized baby announcements.  It is important on such a joyous occasion to have a great looking card for the announcment. You want to be able to choose for a wide variety of card stock, and find the one of your liking. At the end, people are formally notified is a special way of the newest member of your family.


British Lt. Gen. Nick Parker acting Commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan

Friday, June 25, 2010

Jorge Benitez | June 24, 2010

U.K. Lieutenant General Nick Parker acting Commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.
From the White House:  Following up on earlier conversations between their national security teams, President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron spoke today on Afghanistan.  The Prime Minister confirmed that U.K. Lieutenant General Nick Parker would serve as the acting Commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force mission until a new U.S. Commander is confirmed by Congress.  The President reiterated his desire for the Senate to confirm General David Petraeus for this role as swiftly as possible.  Prime Minister Cameron said that General Parker, who has served as the Deputy Commander to ISAF since September, 2009, asked him to convey to the President that the mission “would not miss a beat” and that he was fully confident in our shared strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
From the Daily Record:  Lt Gen Parker, who has been in the Army since 1973, is intensely aware of the heavy price Nato troops are paying in Afghanistan.
His son Harry, a captain in 4th Battalion The Rifles, lost both his legs after being blown up by a Taliban bomb in Helmand last July.  (photo: Philip Hollis/Telegraph)


Who is General Petraeus?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

He was just pardoned from his duties from United States Central Command to accept the nomination by President Obama as the top commander in Afghanistan. He replaces General Stanley McCrystal who was relieved of his duties as Commanding General because of statements he made to a 'Rolling Stone' reporter. The interview and what was said in the interview is now viewed as a mistake by General McCrystal. So what did he say that infuriated President Obama?! To put it in a nutshell, General McCrystal and his staff mocked the Obama administration, showing no respect for the President or Vice-President. It was a total lack of responsibility by General McCrystal.
President Obama took swift action by relieving him of his duties in Afghanistan, and immedately summoned General Petraeus. In all actuality, General Petraeus is kind of taking a demotion by accepting the commanding position in Afghanistan. He did not hesitate to accept President Obamas nomination, as he was already in the White House waiting to meet with the President even before the formal announcment of McCrystal's firing. In actuality, General MCCrystal stepped down after explaining in detail today as to what he actually said about the Obama administration to the reporter.
General Petraeus previously served as Commanding General of the Multi-National Force in Iraq from January 26, 2007 to September 16, 2008. His position in Iraq was to oversee the coalition forces.
Petraeus received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy in 1974 and graduated in the top 5% of his class. He earned an M.P.A in 1985 and a PH.D in International Relations in 1987 from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He also served as an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the United States Military Academy and also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University.
Now he will presently oversee the military efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula and parts of Africa.
In his military career to date, he as recieved eleven military decorations, three U.S. unit awards, two U.S. non-military decorations, nine U.S. service medals and service and training ribbons, four foreign military decorations from Iraq, France, Czech Republic and Poland.
He received three foreign civil decorations from the countries of France, Australia, and Poland. He received three non-U.S. service medals and ribbons, two from NATO and one for a United Nations Mission in Haiti. Finally he holds various U.S. badges, patches and tabs.
So who is he? He happens to be the best person on the planet right now to take up the commanding position in Afghanistan. General Petraeus must go through a confirmation hearing, but everyone, including the Republicans are claiming that President Obama's nomination for Commanding General was the correct one. He will get confirmed very quickly, then travel to Iraq and pick up where General McCrysal left off.


McChrystal relieved of command, Petraeus chosen to take over

By the CNN Wire Staff
June 23, 2010 7:48 p.m. EDT

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday replaced Gen. Stanley McChrystal as commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan and nominated Gen. David Petraeus to replace him while affirming support for a counterinsurgency strategy encountering problems.
The dramatic shift came a day after McChrystal's disparaging comments about America's civilian leadership surfaced, and reignited the national debate on the war in Afghanistan -- now in its eighth year with a June death toll of coalition forces that is close to becoming the highest of the war.
Obama accepted McChrystal's resignation "with considerable regret" and named Petraeus, the head of the U.S. Central Command, to take over pending Senate confirmation.
"It is the right thing for our mission in Afghanistan, for our military and for our country," Obama said outside the White House, flanked by top civilian and military leaders including Vice President Joe Biden; Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Petraeus.
McChrystal's remarks in a Rolling Stone article undermined the civilian control of the military "at the core of our democratic system," Obama said, noting the decision to replace the general did not involve any disagreement over strategy or personal issues.
"I believe that it is the right decision for our national security," Obama said. "The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general."
Obama said that as hard as it is to lose the general, the "war is bigger than any one man or woman." More importantly, he said, the war requires a unified effort from civilian and military leaders, warning that he won't tolerate division within his team.
"I believe that this mission demands unity of effort across our alliance and across my national security team," Obama said. "And I don't think that we can sustain that unity of effort and achieve our objectives in Afghanistan without making this change."
The president urged the Senate to swiftly confirm Petraeus, who would leave his Central Command position. Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, later said a confirmation hearing would begin no later than Tuesday, and he expected it to take one day.
"We know Gen. Petraeus," Levin said. "I don't think there will be anybody who will say we need more time."
McChrystal issued a statement Wednesday saying that he strongly supports Obama's strategy in Afghanistan and is "deeply committed" to the coalition forces and the Afghan people.
"It was out of respect for this commitment -- and a desire to see the mission succeed -- that I tendered my resignation," McChrystal's statement said. "It has been my privilege and honor to lead our nation's finest."
A source close to McChrystal offered a description of the roughly 30-minute meeting between Obama and McChrystal that led to the general's resignation Wednesday morning. McChrystal briefly explained the magazine article at the center of the controversy, took responsibility and then offered his resignation, the source said. Obama accepted the resignation, the source said.
The president "had no intention of keeping him," and McChrystal knew that going in, the source said. McChrystal is not returning to Afghanistan, and his personal belongings will be shipped home, according to the source.
Immediate political reaction from both parties was positive, with lawmakers saying Obama had little choice in making a change and that Petraeus was the best choice for the job. Levin noted that Petraeus authored the counterinsurgency strategy now being followed in Afghanistan.
The spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed disappointment at the loss of McChrystal but called Petraeus the "obvious" replacement, while statements from allied governments and NATO also offered support and commitment to the Afghanistan mission.
In the magazine article, McChrsytal and his top officers are quoted making disrespectful comments about civilian officials including Biden, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, special representative to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke and National Security Adviser Jim Jones.
News of the article set off a political firestorm Tuesday. Obama was "angry" after reading the general's remarks, said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, who added that McChrystal had a "profound" mistake.
McChrystal apologized Tuesday, but was recalled to Washington and met with Gates and Mullen on Wednesday before going to the White House, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. After he met with Obama, McChrystal was not invited to participate in a separate White House national security meeting on the war in Afghanistan, two sources told CNN.
The reported remarks by McChrystal and his staff were strongly criticized on Capitol Hill. Three key Senate leaders on defense and foreign policy issues -- Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut -- said in a news conference Wednesday that Obama had no choice but to replace McChrystal.
"The statements of the general not only were outside the norm, they really did put into question military subordination of civilian control," Graham said, taking particular issue with unnamed officers in the article who he said showed disrespect and a cavalier attitude he termed "unacceptable."
"This is a low point in my view for the armed forces in a very long time, and I'm glad the president made this decision," Graham said. "There are some other officers that need to be looked at, and they need to be replaced."
At the same time, the senators and others said Obama should now make clear that a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will only occur when conditions allow it, rather than on the July 2011 date set by the administration.
Petraeus "is an outstanding military leader, but even he can't win in Afghanistan if the president continues to insist on an arbitrary withdrawal date -- a fact our enemies are counting on and our allies fear," said Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Levin, D-Michigan, told reporters that Petraeus supports the July 2011 date for starting a troop withdrawal based on conditions on the ground.
"What will be conditions-based is not whether reductions begin in July 2011, but the pace of those reductions," Levin said Petraeus told him.
Levin acknowledged that Petraeus or Obama could change their minds on the issue, saying, "nothing is etched in stone."
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, said in a written statement that Obama's "decision to return Gen. (David) Petraeus to the battlefield provides not just continuity in philosophy, but tested diplomatic skill that is at the very center of a military strategy which hinges on progress in governance to sustain military gains."
House Armed Services Committee chairman Ike Skelton, D-Missouri, said that Petraeus "is the best that we have."
"I have great confidence in his ability to bring about a successful outcome in Afghanistan. The commander-in-chief must have confidence in his commanders in the field," he said. "It is time to move on and return our focus to waging the war in Afghanistan."
A spokesman for the Afghanistan Defense Ministry said his government would have preferred to see McChrystal stay, but was happy Petraeus had been tapped as the replacement.
"We're not happy to see Gen. McChrystal go, but of all the choices that could have been made, we are happy to hear it is Petraeus who will continue the mission," Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said.
Obama tapped McChrystal to head the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan in the spring of 2009 shortly after dismissing Gen. David McKiernan. McChrystal was strongly recommended as the best choice to carry out the counterinsurgency strategy created by Petraeus in Iraq, but administration officials later expressed displeasure with what they thought was McChrystal's leak of his request for more troops for Afghanistan before Obama completed his review of the issue.
The president eventually ordered 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, most of the number sought by McChrystal.

CNN's John King, Suzanne Malveaux, Barbara Starr, Dana Bash, Alan Silverleib, Ted Barrett and Tom Cohen contributed to this report.


McCrystal replaced by General David Petraeus in Afghanistan

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McCHRYSTAL IS OUT -- WATCH LIVE: President Obama has removed Gen. Stanley McChrystal from his command, a White House official tells POLITICO.

Gen. David Petraeus will succeed McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Obama is scheduled to speak about his decision at 1:30 p.m. from the Rose Garden.


McCrystal put on ICE as the top Commander in Afghanistan - Successor may be named

News within the last two days centers around the United States top military commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal. President Obama has called for General McCrystal to return to Washington to explain his recent remarks that will now appear in Friday's Rolling Stone magazine. The profile was written by Michael Hastings, and there are statements in the report that show McChrystal and his staff had imagined ways of dismissing Vice President Joe Biden with a one-liner as they prepared for a question-and-answer session in Paris in April. In a quote directly from the General when asked a question by the reporter, McCrystal said "Are you asking about Vice President Biden?" McChrystal says with a laugh. "Who's that?". "Biden? suggests a top advisor: 'Did you say Bite Me?"
The General never directly criticized President Obama, but the reporter Hastings claims Obama and the general "failed to connect" from the outset after the president took office.

McCrystal is no stranger in managing to upset people as the article claims that he is a man who "has managed to piss off almost everyone with a stake in the conflict," including U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Special Representative to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke and National Security Advisor Jim Jones. In another breathe, McCrystal says "I have enormous respect and admiration for president Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and i remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome."McChrystal said in the closing to his apology.

The apology seems a day late and a dollar short, as President Obama is set to name a replacement for the highest ranking General in Afghanistan. It is expected that the President will name a replacement as early as Wednesday and as late as Friday.


Obama Speaks from the White House, BP setup to Pay for Damages

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    In a very important speech to the nation, President Obama spoke out about the BP oil disaster that is affecting everyone who lives and who works on the Gulf coast. The President said that BP must pay for 'recklessness. The oil spill in the gulf is now almost 2 months old, and the rate of oil flowing in the Gulf from the broken well has now gone up from just a few thousand barrels per day from the start, to 35,000 and 60,000 today.
  Unfortunately, the oil giant itself claims that less than 10,000 barrels a day was being lost from the start. It seems to be clear now that many of the statements made by BP were just a cover-up to make the spill not look as disasterous as it actually is.
  In the speech, President Obama outlined the government response to date, but unfortunately, he did not detail plans on how the government is directly involved. The President is adamant in making BP to live up to their responsibilites, especially to provide funds to help clean up the oil, funds provided to families of deceased BP workers that were killed on the well, and medical bills forthcoming because of the dangers faced by trying to work with such a toxic chemical base such as the black oil coming out of the well.
  David Gergen, a stonch supporter of President Obama, claims that the president did not go far enough in detail on what is going to be done to stop this disaster. The President had the opportunity to bring his critics, namely the Republican party on his side, but it appears that he has failed in a very important attempt.
Tomorrow, Obama plans to meet with the BP executives in the White House to demand funds from the company to be put in an escrow account for the businesses that are suffering because of the oil, to the states that effectively have lost thier beaches, there businesses, and a way of life to fish in the gulf for food, and to support their lost livelihood. The money will most likely fund lawsuits from the states and individuals who have been directly affected from the oil spill.
  Immediately below is President Obama addressed the nation Tuesday night with the latest on the BP oil disaster.
Here is the transcript of the speech.....

Obama: Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges. At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American. Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to Al Qaeda wherever it exists.And tonight, I've returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we're waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens.
On April 20, an explosion ripped through BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven workers lost their lives. Seventeen others were injured. And soon, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, oil began spewing into the water. Because there's never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. That's why, just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge, a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's secretary of energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice. As a result of these efforts, we've directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. And in the coming weeks and days, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well. This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that's expected to stop the leak completely. 
Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it's not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever's necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy. Tonight, I'd like to lay out for you what our battle plan is going forward: what we're doing to clean up the oil, what we're doing to help our neighbors in the Gulf, and what we're doing to make sure that a catastrophe like this never happens again.
First, the cleanup.
From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation's history, an effort led by Adm. Thad Allen, who has almost 40 years of experience responding to disasters. We now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across four states to contain and clean up the oil. Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the Gulf. And I've authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast. These servicemen and women are ready to help stop the oil from coming ashore, they're ready to help clean the beaches, train response workers, or even help with processing claims, and I urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible.Because of our efforts, millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water through burning, skimming and other collection methods. Over 5.5 million feet of boom has been laid across the water to block and absorb the approaching oil. We've approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try to stop the oil before it reaches the shore, and we're working with Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to implement creative approaches to their unique coastlines. As the cleanup continues, we will offer whatever additional resources and assistance our coastal states may need.  Now, a mobilization of this speed and magnitude will never be perfect, and new challenges will always arise. I saw and heard evidence of that during this trip. So if something isn't working, we want to hear about it. If there are problems in the operation, we will fix them. But we have to recognize that, despite our best efforts, oil has already caused damage to our coastline and its wildlife. And sadly, no matter how effective our response is, there will be more oil and more damage before this siege is done.That's why the second thing we're focused on is the recovery and restoration of the Gulf Coast.  
You know, for generations, men and women who call this region home have made their living from the water. That living is now in jeopardy. I've talked to shrimpers and fishermen who don't know how they're going to support their families this year. I've seen empty docks and restaurants with fewer customers, even in areas where the beaches are not yet affected. I've talked to owners of shops and hotels who wonder when the tourists might start coming back. The sadness and the anger they feel is not just about the money they've lost; it's about a wrenching anxiety that their way of life may be lost. I refuse to let that happen. Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company's recklessness. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent third party. Beyond compensating the people of the Gulf in the short term, it's also clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region. The oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place that's already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats. And the region still hasn't recovered from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. That's why we must make a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment. I make that commitment tonight.
Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the secretary of the Navy, who's also a former governor of Mississippi and a son of the Gulf Coast, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast restoration plan as soon as possible. The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists and other Gulf residents. And BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region. The third part of our response plan is the steps we're taking to ensure that a disaster like this does not happen again.
A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe, that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken. That obviously was not the case in the Deepwater Horizon rig, and I want to know why. The American people deserve to know why. The families I met with last week who lost their loved ones in the explosion, these families deserve to know why. And so I've established a national commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place. Already I've issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs, but for the sake of their safety and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue. And while I urge the commission to complete its work as quickly as possible, I expect them to do that work thoroughly and impartially.
Now, one place we've already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service. Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility, a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves. At this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations.
And when Ken Salazar became my secretary of the Interior, one of his very first acts was to clean up the worst of the corruption at this agency. But it's now clear that the problem there ran much deeper and the pace of reform was just too slow.
And so Secretary Salazar and I are bringing in new leadership at the agency: Michael Bromwich, who was a tough federal prosecutor and inspector general. And his charge over the next few months is to build an organization that acts as the oil industry's watchdog, not its partner.
So one of the lessons we've learned from this spill is that we need better regulations, better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling. But a larger lesson is that, no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk.
After all, oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the world's oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. And that's part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean: because we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.
For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we've talked and talked about the need to end America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires.
Time and again, the path forward has been blocked, not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.
The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean-energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America. Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.
We cannot consign our children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean-energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America's innovation and seize control of our own destiny.
This is not some distant vision for America. The transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time. But over the last year- and-a-half, we've already taken unprecedented action to jump-start the clean-energy industry.
As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows and small businesses are making solar panels. Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient. Scientists and researchers are discovering clean-energy technologies that someday will lead to entire new industries.
Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us. As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs, but only if we accelerate that transition, only if we seize the moment, and only if we rally together and act as one nation: workers and entrepreneurs, scientists and citizens, the public and private sectors.
You know, when I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill, a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America's businesses.
Now, there are costs associated with this transition, and there are some who believe that we can't afford those costs right now. I say we can't afford not to change how we produce and use energy, because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security and our environment are far greater. So I'm happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party, as long as they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels. Some have suggested raising efficiency standards in our buildings, like we did in our cars and trucks. Some believe we should set standards to ensure that more of our electricity comes from wind and solar power. Others wonder why the energy industry only spends a fraction of what the high-tech industry does on research and development, and want to rapidly boost our investments in such research and development.
All of these approaches have merit and deserve a fair hearing in the months ahead. But the one approach I will not accept is inaction. The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big and too difficult to meet.
You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II. The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon.
And yet, time and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom.
Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny, our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we're unsure exactly what that looks like, even if we don't yet precisely know how we're going to get there, we know we'll get there.
It's a faith in the future that sustains us as a people. It is that same faith that sustains our neighbors in the Gulf right now.
Each year, at the beginning of shrimping season, the region's fishermen take part in a tradition that was brought to America long ago by fishing immigrants from Europe. It's called "The Blessing of the Fleet," and today it's a celebration where clergy from different religions gather to say a prayer for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon head out to sea, some for weeks at a time.
The ceremony goes on in good times and in bad. It took place after Katrina, and it took place a few weeks ago, at the beginning of the most difficult season these fishermen have ever faced.
And still, they came and they prayed.
For as a priest and former fisherman once said of the tradition, "The blessing is not that God has promised to remove all obstacles and dangers. The blessing is that he is with us always," a blessing that's granted "even in the midst of the storm."
The oil spill is not the last crisis America will face. This nation has known hard times before, and we will surely know them again. What sees us through -- what has always seen us through -- is our strength, our resilience, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it.
Tonight, we pray for that courage, we pray for the people of the Gulf, and we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day.
Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.


Obama blamed for Doing Nothing since the Deepwater Horizon platform Sank on April 20th

Thursday, June 10, 2010

All you hear these days is that President Obama dropped the ball when it comes to handling the situation in the Gulf. He is being criticized for not speaking with the BP CEO. Now what would this accomplish? The Republicans seem to want to tell the President what he needs to do and when he needs to do it, and if things are not done their way, then they claim that the President is not doing a good job.  What is going on here? Did he hire the Republican critics to be his advisors? I don't think so. They blame it on everything, starting with the lack of experience in dealing with difficult situations as this oil situation is. The Republican party can do nothing but criticize the Democratic government, but never seemed to criticize anyone on their side of the fence when they controlled Congress and when Bush was President. It seems as if the conservative party can do nothing wrong and the liberal party could do nothing right according to everyone on the Republican side of the fence.
In my opinion almost everything that you see happening today is because of the conservative principles of the past Bush presidency. President Obama is blamed for being to far on the left, when in fact all he wants to do is help everyone get out of the mess that the conservative party led by President Bush, did absolutely nothing to help the American people and the economy. The facts are that he was so focused in Iraq and continuing the war in Iraq, that he couldn't even focus on the main reason why the troops were sent over to those trouble spots in the first place. They were supposed to go there and hunt out Osama bin Laden, the leader of a group of terrorists that is responsible for the World Trade Center bombings. Instead of sending troops to Afghanistan and focusing there for the real terrorist threat of Osama bin Laden, Bush decides to destroy a country named Iraq. Granted that the dictatorship that existed there was eradicated because of the United States interaction there, but it was done at a very high cost of American lives. Is this how you protect American lives? How does President Bush sleep at night, retired in his confortable home in Texas, knowing that so many troops died under his watch?!! Did President Bush have a justifiable reason to destroy Iraq? I think not. There were no weapons of mass destruction there, as was the reason why he said we needed to go there in the first place. He purposly put American soldiers in danger by invading Iraq. But according to the Republicans that is ok. They claim he did the right thing. What is not ok to them is the fact that President Obama still hasn't put a stop to the oil leaking in the Gulf. Yes, President Obama owns a submarine that can go down 5000 feet, and is a nuclear specialist, that is capable of diving down to the bottom of the gulf and blowing out the leak. Give me a break. President Obama is working with every person capable of assisting with solving the Gulf oil problem. If you think the President can plug the hole spewing a possible million barrels of gas and crude daily, he would if he could. But, he can’t nor can all the president’s men. But continue to blame the feds, if you will.Now how rediculas is that.

People need to remember something here. The United States is a free nation, and BP did have legal rights to drill in the deep waters of the Gulf. They may have dropped the ball by not having relief wells already drilled just in case, but the oil spill that had occurred was unpecidented, and noone ever expected it. Noone could ever fanthom that the oil rig would just blowup and sink to the bottom of the Gulf, killing 11 lives.

BP most likely will pay the ultimate price for an oil company. They most likely will not be able to survive such a disaster. They most likely will perish from all of the money spent trying to stop the leaking well and the cleanup process that must take place later, not to mention all of the lawsuits forthcoming from the families of the deceased workers, to the states effected along the Gulf coast with the oil reaching their shores.

But again, the Republicans still continue to say that it is President Obamas fault. They claim that the President doesn't have experience in this type of situation. But, that must mean that they (republicans) do. Anyone can talk the talk, but not many can walk the talk. Just because the Republicans are not in control of the government, all they can do is criticize the Democratic government. This is sad. But again, it is a free country and people have the right to say what they believe in.

But now let's talk what the Conservative side is saying, starting with Rush Limbaugh. He said that the cause was that the environmentalists working as eco-terrorists blew up the Deepwater Horizons exploratory drilling platform that killed 11 crew on April 20th. But in another quote, he said "The ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and left out there," Limbaught said. "It's natural. It's as natural as the ocean water is." Now how about that nonsense. How disconnected is he regarding the situation and the disaster unfolding in front of everyones face!!

If you believe what he says, be my guest. If you do, your brain is no larger than his.

I suppose the eco-terrorist charge is a conspiracy theory, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, because environmentalists protesting oil drilling on land and sea have forced the drilling far off shore in depths a mile deep to find new underground reserves. Rush refuses to say it was an accident waiting to happen. It is interesting that he doesn't becuase the law granting oil drilling in deep waters came about during President Clinton's watch.

As for the man-made disaster of natural forces at work, I’ll let explain:

“Natural” doesn’t always mean good…Arsenic, lead and mercury are as natural as can be, but you wouldn’t want them in your food or your living room. Well, crude oil is also natural, but it’s toxic to most living organisms (exceptions are rare, mostly bacteria), and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are the living room and fridge of countless species.

These ecosystems haven’t evolved in contact with oil, in the same way that most of the heavy metals found deep in the Earth’s crust are toxic to us because over evolutionary time we haven’t been exposed to them much. It’s the same basic principle that explains why oxygen is toxic to certain microorganisms because they evolved in places where there’s little or no O2.

And while the oil itself might be “natural”, the spill itself certainly isn’t. That oil was sequestered deep underground and has been there for millions of years. It very probably wasn’t going anywhere until we drilled there. In that regard, it’s 100% a human-made disaster. So yes, people from the President all the way to the Oil Companies and the citizens of this country know that now with without the proper safety mechanisms to sustain deep water drilling, that this exploration should have never taken place.

But let's not blame the President. The well will get capped, and the President is on the top of the list of people who want this catastrophe to come to an end. He will do what any responsible President will do to end this crisis, just like any other President.


The Gulf situation affecting President Obama

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The President of the United States now has more issues to deal with, ones that he happily wanted on his plate, but he or no one else could ever predict that he would have the oil disaster in the Gulf on his plate. He did not realize that such a disaster could ever effect his popularity and his chances to effect his re-election. I don't think so, but this IS truly a fact. The country is judging the President on his reaction or what some call the lack of reaction for the disaster in the Gulf. Some say his response is a day late and a dollar short. People believe that he is not doing enough. Obviously the President is frustrated, because he feels that he already had so many problems to deal with and this type of situation is taking time away from his efforts to solve other problems that the country is facing. Last night, the Republican primaries took place and the Democrats will definitely have allot of competion with Senate seats this fall. Most likely, the Democrats can loose the majority in the House and the Senate, so it is extremely important now that the Democrats come together and fight this unrelenting momentum of attacks that are generation from the Republican side. Two years ago when this blog was created, I would have laughed if someone told me that President Obama had a chance of loosing re-election, but now this possiblity is fact. The President's popularity is plummeting, but people must realize that he still IS the President of the United States, at least for the next two years. I truly expect to see more vetoes for the next two years, especially if the Congress becomes Republican controlled.


A reflection of the Present and What is to Come

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hopefully much later than sooner, a hurricane will form most likely just east of Africa. The waters are fairly quiet from any tropical weather activity at the present time, but you can be rest assured that the tropics will not stay quiet for long. The ocean's temperatures are way above normal for this time of year, so when the weather fronts are just right, the chances for a hurricane will greatly improve.  It looks like that we should now expect at least 20 major storms, and most likely as in the past, at least 3 and maybe 4 may be heading towards the Gulf waters. Unfortunately there is a very high percentage chance that the hurricane front will mix with the oil on the surface of the water. Oil traces have also been found several miles away under water. This will be just one more problem that he will have to face in what is known as only his 2nd year in office as President of the United States.


The Gulf Coast

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The following note was sent to me yesterday by President Barack Obama. The President is highly aware of the issues and the problems centered around one of the largest catastrophies to ever hit the United States. Some people believe in some cases that this disaster is more serious than any hurricane or bad weather system to hit the United States. Why? Because at this point, the oil company giant BP hasn't been able to stop the flow of oil. People can only sit back and watch the oil reach the shorelines and destroy a way of living for the shrimpers and fisherman that depend on the Gulf for a living. President Obama made his 3rd visit to the disaster area, and is determined to make sure that the company responsible, BP, cleans up the mess and provides relief to people affected by the oil spill. Read President Obama's note below.....

James --

Yesterday, I visited Caminada Bay in Grand Isle, Louisiana -- one of the first places to feel the devastation wrought by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While I was here, at Camerdelle's Live Bait shop, I met with a group of local residents and small business owners.
Folks like Floyd Lasseigne, a fourth-generation oyster fisherman. This is the time of year when he ordinarily earns a lot of his income. But his oyster bed has likely been destroyed by the spill.
Terry Vegas had a similar story. He quit the 8th grade to become a shrimper with his grandfather. Ever since, he's earned his living during shrimping season -- working long, grueling days so that he could earn enough money to support himself year-round. But today, the waters where he has worked are closed. And every day, as the spill worsens, he loses hope that he will be able to return to the life he built.
Here, this spill has not just damaged livelihoods. It has upended whole communities. And the fury people feel is not just about the money they have lost. It is about the wrenching recognition that this time their lives may never be the same.
These people work hard. They meet their responsibilities. But now because of a manmade catastrophe -- one that is not their fault and beyond their control -- their lives have been thrown into turmoil. It is brutally unfair. And what I told these men and women is that I will stand with the people of the Gulf Coast until they are again made whole.
That is why, from the beginning, we have worked to deploy every tool at our disposal to respond to this crisis. Today, there are more than 20,000 people working around the clock to contain and clean up this spill. I have authorized 17,500 National Guard troops to participate in the response. More than 1,900 vessels are aiding in the containment and cleanup effort. We have convened hundreds of top scientists and engineers from around the world. This is the largest response to an environmental disaster of this kind in the history of our country.
We have also ordered BP to pay economic injury claims, and this week, the federal government sent BP a preliminary bill for $69 million to pay back American taxpayers for some of the costs of the response so far. In addition, after an emergency safety review, we are putting in place aggressive new operating standards for offshore drilling. And I have appointed a bipartisan commission to look into the causes of this spill. If laws are inadequate, they will be changed. If oversight was lacking, it will be strengthened. And if laws were broken, those responsible will be brought to justice.
These are hard times in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast, an area that has already seen more than its fair share of troubles. The people of this region have met this terrible catastrophe with seemingly boundless strength and character in defense of their way of life. What we owe them is a commitment by our nation to match the resilience they have shown. That is our mission. And it is one we will fulfill.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama


President Obama in his first 500 Days in Office

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here is what John King, from CNN said about the President in a video.


President Obama nominates Air Force Lt. General James Clapper new DNI Chief

President Obama had to make several key nominations, that actually began even before the beginning of his term. After nominating a few court justices only within the first two years of office, he now has made his choice for the new director of national intelligence. His name is Air Force Lt. General James Clapper. The President said "He possesses a quality that I value in all my advisers, a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know, even if it's not what we want to hear," said Obama. He made the announcement in the Rose Garden with Clapper on Saturday.

Actually in retirmement from the Air Force after 35 years, he was involved with National Geospatial-Intelligence from September of 2001, through June of 2006.

He replaced Dennis Blair who resigned in May. He still must go through a confirmation hearing, and his appointment would be the forth DNI in the last 5 years.

He has gone through the nomination process 4 times in the past with almost no objection, and was voted overwhelmingly into office on all occasions, but due to the lackluster of the politicians in Washington at the present time, it wouldn't be far fetched to see him seriously questioned by the conservative side of the House. Some of the Senators, like Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Kit Bond has some reservations about him. In a statement Kit Bond said "I believe he is too focused on the Defense Department issues and he has tried to block out efforts to give more authority to the DNI," Bond argued.

So regardless of how much experience you have, allot of it depends on the time and the state of things at that time. Another flaw that some say he may have is that he is "not forthcoming, open or transparent" with Congress.


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