Archive for the ‘President Obama’ Category

>Things I heard in South Carolina

March 26, 2011

>I’m sure the good Republicans of Alabama are just as uninformed as those in South Carolina. But this was interesting, considering Obama won the 2008 Democratic primary handily, with 55% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s 27% and John Edwards (who was born there) 18%.

I wonder if South Carolina Republicans would be a venomous against Clinton, had she won the nomination and the presidency. Of course they would have, what am I thinking?

Here are some of the things I heard while there.

“Obama didn’t recognize the annual day of prayer.”

From the Presidential Proclamation – National Day of Prayer

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 6, 2010, as a National Day of Prayer.”

This is the biggest piece of evidence that Republicans are uneducated, uninformed, and rely on the hype and lies coming from Fox News, because it just wasn’t true, yet we kept hearing it and still hear it from Republicans.

But if that’s not enough, here is some more of what I heard.

“We don’t need a commander in chief that did not serve in the military.”

Do they really want to bring up George W. Bush’s national guard record? And I know that South Carolina Republicans voted for John McCain, and on his ticket was (non-veteran, unable to complete a term as governor) Sarah Palin. She would have been a heartbeat away from assuming the position of commander in chief, yet she had not served.

“Obama loves the Muslims.”

So? This is hypocritical on so many levels. Remember this?

And also:

Of course there are the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Our country was founded on religious freedom.

Then there is Jesus, but I’m not going to get into his message of love for all people, loving your enemies, tolerance, etc.

“Obama detests the military.”

Let me start with a few words about John McCain’s record as a senator on veterans’ issues. Click on that link, and you will get a feel for what the war hero thinks of current veterans, and of Obama’s support for veterans. You will find that candidate Obama showed much more support for our veterans than presidential candidate John McCain did.

Obama has supported military families, and many in the military support Obama.

South Carolina Republicans are focused on one thing, it seems – limiting Obama to one term as president. “I’m going to do everything I can to see that he is not re-elected.”

Here are some current poll results, showing Obama winning in most polls, and tied with a Republican candidate in a few.

I am really looking forward to the 2012 race, mostly because the Republicans are going to be so entertaining, trying to out demonize gays and Hispanics and also to see them try to explain their positions on jobs (so far, no position and no job creation) and energy (oil and nukes) and the economy.

As the American public becomes more and more educated on the issues they will realize that we are fortunate that the Democrats held on to the Senate in 2010 (thus avoiding a total meltdown of the economy), and we can look forward to regaining control of the House and holding on to the White House as well.

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>Influencing people

January 26, 2011

>1.) President Obama

The president gave his State of the Union speech last night, and despite the third grade seating arrangement and the anticipated followup by the divided Republican Tea Party, the message from the president was loud and clear:

We can win the future

He called our current place in time “our Sputnik moment.”

That means we need to quit lollygagging and get to work. China is pulling ahead in education, energy, infrastructure and more. We can catch up and pass them, like we did the Russians after they put Sputnik into space. We must.

He stressed the importance of education.

“We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the super bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.”

He urged increasing math and science teacher training and urged a redo of the failed and unfunded No Child Left Behind act.

A CBS poll reveals that 91% of those who watched the president approved of the speech.

A CNN poll indicates that prior to the speech 61% of respondents thought that Obama will move the country in the right direction. After the speech that increased to 77%.

You can watch the entire speech, with enhancements (charts, graphs, etc.).

2.) Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates plays an attorney in “Harry’s Law” who is changing careers going from a highly paid patent attorney to a “poor but changing neighborhood” criminal attorney. In this week’s episode, she represented an elderly black woman accused of armed robbery.

In her closing statement she made a great case for a change in attitude about how we care for the poor, including a statement about Health Care Reform.

http://www.hulu.com/embed/t0INia4OQK0ZjFBKGFzRNw/2060/2282/i2262

Watch the entire episode here.

3.) Oprah Winfrey

And Oprah had Gay Day yesterday on her show. 25 years of coming out stories. This was the promo.

Oprah does a great job of influencing public opinion, and her show yesterday confirmed that. One of her guests was an Indian prince who came out on her show years ago, was disowned by his mother, but the event began a change in India and more acceptance for gays in that country.

One of her guests, Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, came out and wrote a book in 1995. He was a huge influence on my decision to accept who I am, which I did later that year.

I met Greg at the Books-a-Million in Hoover and got his book, Breaking the Surface, signed. I also wrote a letter to him, and had received a postcard back, but the words he wrote in my book planted the idea in my head.

Believe in yourself!

He could probably tell I was a troubled, closeted gay man. I can sometimes recognize that trait in people now. He wrote just enough to get me started, and I am so thankful.

So President Obama, Kathy Bates, and Oprah Winfrey (and Greg Louganis); thank you for the messages that you send. You are making a difference in people’s lives and attitudes and beliefs.

>Obama versus…

January 14, 2011

>Even though the 2010 elections are barely behind us and the presidential election is almost 2 years away, the campaigning has been going on for month. Actually, the Republicans began campaigning immediately after Barack Obama was elected, but that basically happens after every presidential election.

Anyway, with Obama’s fairly high ratings among Democrats (who are the ones that vote in primaries) it is assumed that he will have no challenger from his own party. This will allow him to raise a lot more money; democrats won’t be funding other candidates. It will also allow him to focus his message on Republican policies and not have to debate against other democrats and their policies like he did during the last campaign.

Public Policy Polling released results from a poll that pitted Obama against potential Republican challengers in Iowa. Obama beat them all.

Obama leads Mike Huckabee 47-43.
Obama leads Mitt Romney 46-41
Obama leads Newt Gingrich 51-38
Obama leads Sarah Palin 53-37

What is interesting is that in Iowa, which is one of the early primary states that every Republican candidate would love to win, is that Republican support for any of these candidates ranges only from 67-79 %. The Republicans are not really unified around any of these candidates. That could translate into low Republican turnout in the election.

Democrats are more unified around Obama in Iowa, ranging from 86 to 91 %, depending on who the potential Republican candidate is.

The poll also showed that among independents, Obama has a 49% approval rating compared to 40% that are not approving of his job performance.

The pollsters say that these numbers are reflective of what they see across the county; unified Democratic support behind Obama, and not so much support from Republicans around any of their candidates.

Things are looking good for Obama, and that means coattails across the country. After two years of Tea Party politics in the House, I think voters will be ready to replace a lot of Republicans with Democrats.

It’s going to be an interesting two years of campaigns.

If you didn’t get a chance to see Obama’s speech at the Tucson memorial, here it is.

How his detractors could find fault with this, I don’t know, but they did, with everything from calling the event a “pep rally” to being critical of the college students that attended and the seating arrangement of those involved in stopping the shooter.

I guess when there is nothing to criticize, and when you feel it is more important to jazz up your conservative viewers than to allow the people of Tucson to express their grief and their hope at the same time, that making up controversy is the only thing to do.

To paraphrase John Stewart, hollers of “Who – hoo” in one culture are not that different than people yelling “Amen” in another.

Watch John Stewart as he takes on the critics of the service.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Veiled Criticism
www.thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:371002
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

>Imagine

December 8, 2010

>I’m not at all happy about President Obama caving in to the Republicans and their definition of compromise on giving tax breaks to those who make over $250,000 a year.

Another campaign promise broken, that’s how I see it.

What he and the Republicans he’s in bed with don’t understand is that those wealthy individuals would still have been getting the tax break on their first $250,000 of income, like everybody else, but they wouldn’t be getting the special treatment on their additional income. And 80 per cent of Americans agree that they should not be getting the tax cut.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is threatening to filibuster the measure, and I say go for it.

Even if it delays the defense bill that includes Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and everything else in the lame duck session.

And I don’t want to hear any complaints from progressives or Democrats or gays or anybody else because the fault of the matter lies with you. By not exciting your voters and getting them out to the polls in November, you empowered the Republicans and virtually assured the nation that nothing progressive or positive will happen during this session or the next two years.

The President and the Republicans are wanting to add $900 billion to the deficit. I’m not a deficit hawk by any means, and it wasn’t high on my list of priorities going into the 2010 elections. But that’s all the Republicans were talking about, and then the hypocrites turn around and sponsor a measure that adds $900 billion, and bring the president along with them (so they can later blame him for increasing the deficit even further).

Giving those tax breaks to the rich do nothing to stimulate the economy. I mean, these are tax breaks the rich have had for 10 years and they did nothing to help the economy during that time, so what makes them think they will help during the next two years?

Well, today is the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death.

We old hippies and others still imagine the world as a better place, and have faith that someday we will get there. Just not as quickly as we hoped.

Here’s Lennon’s song “Imagine,” performed on the show “Glee,” by members of a choral group from a school for the deaf who were invited to the Glee school to practice and perform, and joined by some of the regulars on the show. Bet you’ve not seen the song performed in this manner.

>More reasons not to vote Republican; and …

October 28, 2010

>Keith Olbermann took up where I left off in his Special Comment last night regarding the upcoming election and the Republican Tea Party candidates. Fortunately none of these candidates are from Alabama, but that doesn’t mean the Republican candidates here don’t have the same backward moving ideas that these candidates support.

Part 2

I know you might not have time to watch these two videos, so let me summarize.

The Republican Tea Party want to elect candidates who will…well, if you think Jim Crow was bad, just wait and see. They are trying to scare white voters by instilling fear of the different folk. Oh sure, the targets are brown instead of black this time, but it is no different than the racist candidates of the past trying to scare white voters in to voting for the racist candidates. Remember Jesse Helms?

Senator Hank Sanders is concerned. “I ain’t going back to the cotton fields and Jim Crow days,” he said in a robocall urging people to vote for “Ron Sparks, Jim Folsom and others who would do right by all of us.”

So here’s the deal. When you vote for Republicans, you empower that party and those within the party that do want to return to Jim Crow days, that do want to return to pre-Lawrence v Texas days, that do want to do away with Social Security, that do want to take Alabama children off of the insured list and return them to the uninsured list (Robert Bentley wants to repeal health care reform. He’s a doctor, yet would remove children from their insurance).

And what will the Republicans in Washington focus on after the election? Their Senate leader let us know. If you only watch one of these videos today, watch this one.

Ok, that concludes the negative portion of this post. Now for the positive.

The president appeared on The Daily Show last night, where he reminded us of the accomplishments that have been made during the past 2 years, and that the change we were hoping for is ongoing, and that the promise was not that we would see change that we can believe in within 18 months.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:363490
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Part 2

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 2
www.thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:363491
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Part 3

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Pt. 3
www.thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:363492http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=1677108722778516534
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

The president also met with progressive bloggers (my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail) yesterday. Read a transcript here of what he said about DADT and gay marriage. Here’s a bit of it.

But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.

And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.

So…the President’s attitude, like the country’s as a whole, is changing. “The arc of history,” he said.

>Economic outlook for Alabama looks good!

July 2, 2010

>On Facebook I have friends of all stripes, even teabaggers. One, whom many of you know, is particularly critical of our president and his policies. I’m not going to call him out by name, but here are some of the comments he’s posted on my Facebook page.

“This administration is THE WORST we have EVER had. It won’t matter WHO runs against BHO in 2012, he doesn’t have a CHANCE! THANK GOD! “

“It’s NOT getting better. The economy is down, the jobless rate is not improving, the housing market has crashed.”

“Not ONE SINGLE PROGRAM that Obama is trying is working. “

“Economic numbers & approval rating numbers will show you that we are worse off than we have EVER been & we aren’t happy about it. There is nothing this moron has done that has even begun to turn this country around.”

Let’s look at some trends. When coming out of a recession, or a depression, trends are more important than individual numbers because factors that may cause a temporary rise or fall are more easily identified. Plus, you get a sense of where things are heading.

These figures are from Gallup.

Here’s a chart that shows job creation for the last 7 months. The per cent of employers that are hiring is indicated by the dark green line, and the per cent of employers letting people go is indicated by the light green line.

Clearly, these trends are both moving in the right direction. Almost one third of employers in the U. S. are hiring right now. About one in five are still having to lay off or fire people.

Surely we need even more improvement in these numbers, but the trend is favorable.

Here is a chart that indicates underemployment in the U. S. for the last 7 months. Underemployment includes the unemployed and those who are employed part-time but want to work full time. These numbers were released by Gallup earlier this week and based on their findings they predicted unemployment numbers released today to be 9.5%.

Notice, again, the trend. Underemployment is declining.

When the unemployment numbers were released this morning, 9.5 was the figure. Pretty good prediction, Gallup.

Here’s the unemployment chart released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not a great drop in unemployment, but better than most analysts (except Gallup) predicted, and certainly a move in the right direction.

Let’s bring the economic news home to Alabama.

In this morning’s Birmingham News,in the money section,was this headline and story:

State gains solid ground on recovery, UA survey says.

Alabama business leaders believe the state has turned the corner on a meaningful economic recovery, according to the results of a University of Alabama survey released this morning.

The Alabama Business Confidence Index, derived from responses from 345 business executives across the state, indicates expansion for the second quarter in a row, after 10 consecutive quarters of contraction. “Given the successful forecasting history of the index, this should be a good indication that the recovery has taken hold,” officials at the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research note in a report.

All elements of the confidence index scored in positive territory this quarter, meaning expectations are growing for increased hiring, sales and profits in coming months. “The operating environment for Alabama businesses should be much improved,” the report says.

So, it looks like the situation is improving and is poised for further improvement here in Alabama.

If my friend who can’t see the forest for the tea leaves would keep up with the news and what is going on, instead of only listening to Faux Network, he would realize that President Obama is doing as good as could be expected with congress so divided as it is. That’s a whole different story, for another day.

There are other indications that the president is doing a good job and that the things he is doing are working, but this is enough for today.

>Openly terrific

June 23, 2010

>The President hosted a reception in honor of LGBT Pride month yesterday.

I’m wondering if Rick and Bubba will be able to hold their tongues. They’ve been warned by their sponsors and by their syndicator to hold down their rhetoric or face the music.

While most of the local community has heard what the sponsors are saying (both Academy Sports and Bojangles Chicken have said they don’t agree with Rick Burgess’ comments and told the radio hosts as much, and that if they targeted gays or any other group like that again they would pull their sponsorship. The syndicator of the show is unhappy as well, and he doesn’t want to hear any more reports of such talk.

Here is the president speaking at the reception. He called Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis, lesbian and gay members of the House of Representative, “openly terrific.”

I think that’s a great new term for us. Because being gay is terrific.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also spoke at an event celebrating LGBT Pride month.

She was the first first lady to march in a Pride parade.

“Human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights once and for all.”

One of my facebook friends, and straight woman who took part in the civil rights struggles during the 1960’s posted this comment on one of my facebook posts yesterday.

June is Pride Month. President Obama has called upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their lives and everywhere it exists.

    I am so proud of our straight allies and the way they take up for us against the hurtful rhetoric of the right.

    So many people have told me or have posted on facebook that this year’s Pride has given them more inspiration than they have felt in years. Polls are showing that Americans are now more accepting of Equality than they have ever been, and many religious groups or individual churches are realizing that LGBT people are created and loved by God just as they are.

    In spite of the vocal frustration with the Obama administration on the slowness of advancement of LGBT Equality, we really should be thankful of the progress that has been made.

    These things come to mind.

    Passage of the (inclusive) Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act.

    Repeal of the HIV ban on travel.

    Hospital visitation for lesbian and gay partners (in hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid.

    Federal employee benefits.

    Broadening of the definition of “son and daughter” so employers would be required to offer workers in same sex relationships the same right to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for partner’s newborns or to adopt (announced yesterday by the labor department).

    And the president’s call for congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), to pass an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the pending end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell(DADT). The House has passed the repeal, the Senate Armed Services Comittee has approved, and the full Senate will vote someday.

    Country singer Chely Wright was at the President’s reception.

    Here is her video for “I Already Do.”

    >Oil and kudzu

    June 22, 2010

    >We (humans) can do little things that become big goofs. Some things look big, but are actually small, but still can be a big goof.

    Two articles in today’s Birmingham News show us that this is true.

    Oil

    Article

    One article is about the oil spill. How big is the spill?, the headline asks. Let’s put it in context, the headline answers.

    The Mississippi River pours as much water into the Gulf of Mexico in 38 seconds as the BP oil leak has done in two months.

    For every gallon of oil that BP’s well has gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, there is more than 5 billion gallons of water already in it. That’s 1:5,000,000,000.

    If all the oil that has spilled were poured into the Superdome, it would only fill it one seventh of the way up.

    Kudzu Article

    If you live in Alabama you know Kudzu. The sprawling vine covers 61,295 acres in our state, according to the U. S. Forest Service. The Alabama Cooperative Extension Service estimates estimates over 250,000 acres in our state are covered.

    There are 52,419.02 square miles = 33,548,172.8 acres in Alabama. Using the U. S. Forest Service estimate, that’s 1:547 acres of our state are Kudzu covered.

    (Depending on where one looks for information and whether just land is counted or all area, land and water, the number of square miles in Alabama varies, by the way.)

    Kudzu first appeared in the U. S. in 1876, and was used as an ornamental. In the 1930’s is was decided it could be used to control another human goof up (soil erosion from improper agricultural practices in the Southeast) and so 85 million (85,000,000) kudzu seeds were shipped to southern landowners.

    Now we learn that Kudzu may be responsible for some of the ground level ozone that affects our air quality and gives people like me fits on days when we are warned not to go outdoors in Jefferson County.

    So, here’s my point. Republicans and other contrarians that deny global warming have said that we cannot affect the climate, that human action is too small compared to the expanse of the world and air that surrounds it. Republicans and other petro lovers have said that the Gulf oil spill is not that big a deal and are still screaming drill baby drill. Tony Hayward said the spill was “relatively tiny” compared to the “very big ocean.” Technically, as has been shown, he was right.

    There are two kinds of people in the world (really there are many kinds, depending on what one is talking about), those who care about the environment and those who do not. Of the ones who care about the environment there are two kinds, those who understand that little things we do today, can have a huge impact tomorrow, and those whose concern about the environment goes no further than what they see at the moment and their perception of a more immediate future.

    A little ornamental vine that was exhibited at an exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 has turned into a monster that affects our health as a result of human activity.

    The relatively small amount of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico is going to forever change some of the most fragile and important lands in the coastal states, and affect many species in ways we cannot predict yet. The root of this problem is human, also. Human greed.

    Republicans have called for less financial regulation, in the aftermath of a financial crisis that was caused in large part by lack of regulation.

    Now they want to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, and are critical of the president’s halt of deep water drilling.

    Here’s the deal. America has to wake up. Quit putting off the development of alternative energy sources while saying we have plenty of fossil fuel and time to slowly make the changes. And quit drilling in the Gulf…really forever, but at least until you can assure us that you know WTF you are doing!

    Here’s an idea. Add a $4.00 per gallon gas tax and let the proceeds go toward alternative fuel research. We made a drastic and relatively quick change from horse and buggy to steam engine to gasoline powered vehicles and I’m sure the horse traders and horse feed producers didn’t like it one bit. The industrial revolution changed the way goods were produced and I’m sure that as the factories were beginning to manufacture what we needed (or wanted) the cottage industry folks were concerned about their way of life.

    It’s no different now. A big change is going to come about. It’s just a matter of who will accept it and learn to change along with it, and who will be kicking and screaming because they can’t adjust.

    PS. The new Share buttons that follow this are probably not working. Why not give it a try and let me know if anything happens? When I click, it does not give me opportunity to share. How about you?

    >Western Tribune column march 10, 2010 Reconciliation

    March 12, 2010

    >

    Reconciliation? If that’s what it takes

    President Obama understands the importance of health care reform and said that Democrats have the “opportunity of a generation” and should seize the moment and pass health care overhaul.

    He is focusing on members of his own party after Republicans have once again indicated they will not support anything with his name attached to it, even though he took several of their proposals and incorporated them into the bill.

    Democrats may use the procedure known as reconciliation in order to get the legislation to the president’s desk. Reconciliation has been branded as a bad word by the Party of No, while ignoring that such important legislation as COBRA was passed by reconciliation in 1986. COBRA included provisions that allow employees who have lost their jobs to keep their insurance for a period of time. At that time Republicans controlled the senate and Ronald Reagan was president.

    Since 1980, 17 of 23 reconciliation bills have been signed by Republican presidents and more often when Republicans controlled one or both chambers of congress.

    With the publicity last week surrounding the Republican National Committee playbook that featured demeaning pictures of the president and democratic leaders in congress, it is clear that their party is not about the issues or about addressing a problem that must be solved. Rather, it is about demonizing the opposition, something we have suspected since the first “Tea Party” where similar images were displayed on posters. Now the extremists we once called the fringe of the Republican Party are setting policy.

    So if reconciliation must be used to pass Health Care Reform with no Republican votes then so be it.

    It is right to ignore the Party of No when it is clear that their lack of cooperation will place greater hardship on the Americans who work every day to make this country what it is.
    “The time for debate is over,” the President said. Republicans want to “start over.” But starting over would just lead to the same point while Americans continue to suffer.

    The Republican playbook urged supporters to use “fear” and “extreme negative feelings toward the existing administration” as fund raising tools. If that is your marketing strategy, then it stands to reason that your governing strategy must be to not cooperate with anything the “existing administration” proposes.

    If they choose not to participate, that is their prerogative. But it could also be their downfall.

    >Analysis of SOTU

    January 28, 2010

    >President Obama delivered his State of the Union Address (text) to a crowd that was, for the most part, well behaved. A Republican pow-wow prior to the address led to a decision not to cry out tacky pitch-lines for partisan gain.

    On the overall event I give the president an A- (those who are friends on Facebook already know this, but I didn’t give the reasons last night).

    The president gets extra points for showing some backbone. 15 points

    He smacked the Supreme Court, and they deserved it. 10 points. They don’t look too happy, and Justice Samuel Alito seems to be channeling Joe Wilson (from Daily Kos)

    http://www.dailykostv.com/flv/player.swf

    Be sure and notice the nervous clerk (or whatever) to the justices left (toward the end). She looks a little concerned, like she knows the next day won’t be a good one.

    He smacked the legislators in congress. 10 points. (Congress get a D from me for their performance in 2009, by the way).

    But what frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is election day. We cannot wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about their opponent — a belief that if you lose, I win. Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can. The confirmation of well-qualified public servants should not be held hostage to the pet projects or grudges of a few individual senators. Washington may think that saying anything about the other side, no matter how false, is just part of the game. But it is precisely such politics that has stopped either party from helping the American people. Worse yet, it is sowing further division among our citizens and further distrust in our government.

    and

    To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership.

    On policy

    Iraq – We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August. 10 points

    Afghanistan – In Afghanistan, we are increasing our troops and training Afghan Security Forces so they can begin to take the lead in July of 2011 and our troops can begin to come home. 5 points

    Taxes – … passed 25 different tax cuts.Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas, and food and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven’t raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime. 15 points

    Energy – loses a point for “offshore” development, but overall clean energy speak was a plus. 5 points

    Jobs – The major portion of the speech was about jobs, and he gets high marks for this. 15 points

    DADT – the president gets a couple of points for mentioning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and another couple for saying this: 10 points

    …the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it, that if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else.

    But he failed to mention that LGBT Americans are not treated the same as everyone else and he could have mentioned the Prop 8 lawsuit going on in California as an example of the inequality in today’s society. -5 points

    Total score – 90.

    Now, what I’m hoping is that the members of congress will realize that they do have an obligation to work together, regardless of what us screaming bloggers and flailing teabaggers are doing. Maybe congress should sequester themselves and not be allowed to watch any TV news or read any blogs, then they might could work together.

    *****************************

    Dave Matthews and Neil Young performed together during the Hope for Haiti NowHope for Haiti now concert. Nice. “Alone and Forsaken”