Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

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THE TRAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

June 7, 2011

I must first apologize to Peter Max, the cover artist for the Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” album, for distorting his very famous artwork. I just couldn’t resist. 🙂

As “Pundit World” goes wild with speculation about the line-up of possible Republican candidates competing for the presidential nomination, it is obvious that many good Republicans / Conservatives are not running until 2016, when the field will be wide open in both parties. There are two possible exceptions to the “wide open” theory on the Democratic side: (1) Joe Biden: though I seriously doubt he’ll want to start a campaign when he’s almost 74 yerars old. (2) Hillary Clinton: who has said she is done with public service after she retires as Secretary of State. But, she will only be 69 at that time and she could be convinced by Bill and the party to run, since she did so well in the 2008 primary. I’m sure she would have President Obama’s support.

Real Republicans can’t be happy about the current field of candidates. I know – I used to be a Republican. The tragedy of the “tour” that will be roaming the countryside in this election season is the ridiculous lack of substance in the rhetoric and actions of its members.

“She wasn’t invited. We heard yesterday she came out with a press release she was coming to Rolling Thunder,” Ted Shpak (national legislative director of Rolling Thunder), told Andrea Mitchell (MSNBC). He had no idea Palin was coming until it was posted on her website.  Her intrusion into Mitt Romney’s announcement was another distasteful and disrespectful ploy for attention. Already, her “vacation” is annoying people. Yet, media covers every step and syllable. (I will never understand the fascination it has with this woman.)

So who are the members of this tour – so far?

SARAH PALIN is not running for president, like many of the pundits now seem to be reporting. How do I know? She has a multi-year deal with FOX. While she continues to receive a paycheck from them, she can’t run. It’s against federal regulations. When she stops cashing in, I’ll reconsider my words. (She earns a reported  $1 million a year with this deal. The presidency only pays $450,000.) Her recent home purchase in Arizona may well be to establish residence for a gubernatorial run. 

 

 

RON PAUL is not running for president. Yes, he announced, but he knows he can’t win and doesn’t want to win. His goal is to be a “king-maker” in the election, which is also what Palin is doing. Both will give their opinions of the other candidates to garner media attention and fatten their political coffers. Bottom line: neither will say anything that will shift Republicans’ thinking in the voting booth.

 

 

MICHELE BACHMANN, who hasn’t announced as of this post, will not get the nomination if she does announce, because she has no chance of beating President Obama in the general election. There’s so much video of her saying stupid, nonsensical and nonfactual statements that political ads against her will write themselves.

 

 

 

As this tour continues, we will see HERMAN CAIN, who is slowly going off a cliff. In an interview with Scott Keyes (Think Progress), he was asked if he would ever hire a person of the Muslim faith. He said “no” and went on to say, There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they’ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly.” He also added, “And I get upset when the Muslims in this country, some of them, try to force their Sharia law onto the rest of us.” His Muslim-based fear may garner some attention from the far right, but most Republicans know he is not qualified to be President. He has never been elected to any office and has no experience running a campaign. If you think he has a chance because he’s black, I have two words for you: Michael Steele.

 

RICK SANTORUM? Google “Santorum.” (I hope you haven’t just eaten.) Once you’ve digested that little-known fact, know that Rick Santorum puts homosexuality in the same category as child molestation, incest, sodomy and bestiality. In his words (taken from an Associated Press interview), “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.” He also believes the right to privacy does not exist in our Constitution. Statements like these might help him with the far right of the Evangelical movement, but not in a general election.

 

FRED KARGER has no chance of winning the Republican nomination – he’s openly gay.

 

 

 

 

DONALD TRUMP teased the media again by saying he might still consider running, but that’s all it was. He’s locked into a contract with NBC for “The Apprentice.” Game over, Donald. You’ve been trumped.

 

 

 

 

NEWT GINGRICH is self-destructing. Three examples: (1) He called President Obama the most successful food-stamp president this country has ever seen. (Goodbye unemployed, under-employed and minorities). While there has been a significant rise in the use of food stamps due to the recession, it began in 2007, long before Obama became president. (2) He called the Paul Ryan Budget Plan “social engineering” on a Meet the Press interview and then quickly back-tracked the next day, telling media to not quote him. Six weeks prior to that interview, he praised the plan. (3) He flipped on the issue of helping  Libya. When first asked, he stated we should go into Libya, criticising Obama for not doing so and suggesting he was weak on foreign policy. Then, when the president did go in to help the rebels, he said that was a mistake – that we should never have done so.  Newt is yesterday’s news. He brings nothing new or substantive to the 2012 race.

This leaves the inevitable two:

MITT ROMNEY will have to separate his Massachusetts Healthcare Law from that of the President Obama’s, since many features are shared by both. But this will probably not be the biggest issue. His challenge with true Conservatives is his flip from Pro-Choice to Pro-Life, his Mormon faith, and lack of favor from the Tea Party, whose grip on the GOP is baffling, to say the least.

 

 

 

TIM PAWLENTY left the state of Minnesota in a fiscal mess, although he touts a very different story on the stump. Otherwise, he probably fits the mold of what Republicans / Conservatives are looking for – more so than Romney. He does not want to cut the Pentagon budget, he wants to cut jobs in the public sector (the same sector that employed him for eight years), especially union jobs, and has used some “creative” accounting in a failed attempt to reduce the state’s budget deficit which included a $58 million dollar reduction in education. In case you’re wondering, the I-35 West bridge collapse in Minneapolis on August 1, 2008, that killed 13 people, was the result of a design flaw, not a lack of infrastructure funding, like some on the left have reported.

 

There may be one potential candidate that could surprise everyone and is currently not a member of this tour. JON HUNTSMAN was President Obama’s Ambassador to China. He does move away from the Republican Party on global-warming and other issues, which may be a problem in the primaries. But he’s smart, moderate and knowledgeable.

 

 

 

Q: Knowing all this, why aren’t more qualified candidates running?

A: They don’t want to run against a president that has accomplished as much as President Obama. Their records would pale by comparison.

The current Republicans in the House and Senate can only boast about what they have blocked – which is quite a list. They ran on a platform of creating jobs in 2010, criticizing the president for the slow economy (which had been tanking rapidly for nearly two years before he took office)  but they’ve passed nothing that helps the dwindling middle class.  In the House of Representatives, where they have the majority, they have passed no legislation to help the economy recover. We keep hearing words like “job creating” and “job creators” which mean nothing without defining what and who these words refer to. Instead, they’ve focused on legislation they know will never become law: repealing the Healthcare bill, defunding Planned Parenthood, the attempt to defund National Public Radio, defunding public funding for presidential campaigns, and passing a bill that says the government cannot fund abortions, which is already law. It’s called “The Hyde Amendment” and it was passed over 30 years ago.

President Obama, on the other hand, has quite a list of accomplishments. Once you read the list on the first page, skim through the rest. You’ll see that this president is working hard to resurrect and protect the middle class, which is the only way to put our economy on solid ground. Remember the 1990’s? A tax increase of only 3.5% on the wealthiest Americans, the Pay-Go Bill and a $160 billion stimulous (part of the 1994 budget) resulted in 22 million new private-sector jobs, a balanced budget, debt reduction and a $200 billion budget surplus all in just eight years from 1993 to 2001. Republicans and Democrats were split 50-50 in the Senate on the budget bill and the vice president had to come in and cast the tie-breaking vote – a vote that Republicans said would ruin our economy because taxes were being raised on their wealthy constituents. But don’t expect to hear any of these truths from tour members.

To be sure, the “Tragical Mystery Tour” is coming to take you away… from common sense and facts. You’ll hear falsehoods and misrepresentations by its members stating they know better than our president, how to heal the economy. But they will mysteriously exclude details. They will offer a “new elixir,” knowing it is exactly the same recipe that has been swallowed many times over the last thirty years – without success. This “concoction” only exacerbates our country’s condition. It does nothing to heal it.

Hopefully, one of these Republicans will actually offer a new idea, a fresh thought, a constructive, forward-thinking plan with merit – one that doesn’t punish the middle class, the elderly and the poor.

Right now, I don’t see it.

Sincerely,

www.MichaelKontras.com

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TOO MUCH PLURIBUS, NOT ENOUGH UNUM

October 1, 2009

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It’s time for a “Rant” with no “Observation.”

Featured on the front of the Great Seal of the United States of America are the words “E Pluribus Unum.” “Pluribus” is related to the English word “plural” and “Unum” is related to the English word “unit.” The direct translation of the term is “Out of many, one.”

Apparently, many of our elected leaders have forgotten (or don’t know) what this means. Their exploitation of cultural issues is an attempt to keep us divided for their personal gain. Politicizing these issues is a disservice to our country and is certainly not in step with the ideals they have been elected to uphold. Those who suppress, intimidate, belittle or dismiss portions of our citizenship because of race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or income level have failed to grasp the concept of “E Pluribus Unum.”

We are called the “United” States of America, not the “Divided” States of America. We’ve already had our Civil War, and those who no longer wanted to enslave human beings, won, with much blood and treasure expended. Yet, it seems there are those who would like nothing better than to reverse that outcome.

They are not accepting of anyone who looks or believes differently than them. They’re right and everyone else is wrong. Theirs is the only accurate interpretation of The Constitution. Theirs is the only way to “run” this country. Theirs is the only way to believe in God or be a good Christian. They say they are tolerant, but tolerance is not acceptance. If it were up to them, we would go back to the days of white supremacy with all people of color being only “two-thirds human.”

Now that we have our first black President, those supportive of the lunacy we’ve seen since his election are being exposed. I couldn’t be happier. Let them make asses out of themselves for the nation – and the world – to see. Once they’re embarrassed enough, they’ll retreat to privacy, and those with constructive ideas for moving our country forward will engage with the ideals set forth in our Great Seal.

We’ve had enough “Pluribus.” It’s time for some “Unum.”

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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SILENT NOISE

September 30, 2009

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Unlike the proverbial “calm before the storm,” the current increase in political noise is the storm.

The volume increase is a direct result of the lack of attention to that noise. Eventually, the noise will reach its peak volume, become so distorted that it is extremely unpleasant to listen to, and eventually the “amplifiers” will implode. So the noisier it gets, the closer we are to the end of all this thoughtless blather. Until then, it’s going to get louder and much more obnoxious.

Political noise comes in many fashions. There are, of course, public displays of noise such as the contrived “grassroots” events of last summer. Those have now moved indoors. One example was the 2009 Value Voters Summit.

There is also “silent noise” which can sometimes be dangerous. A few days ago, this was posted on Facebook.

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It was one of the Top 100 Facebook Polls. But if the comments are any indication of the poll’s results, the creator may have had a big surprise from the 731 people who responded before Facebook removed it. Here are a few of those comments. The person responsible for this poll is now being sought by the Secret Service and the FBI. This thoughtless blather may also be illegal blather.

Then there is (was) a recent article from John Perry, that even the very conservative Newsmax.com removed from their website.

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Fortunately, we have investigative websites that expose these loonies before their words go back into hiding. Here’s some of what Perry wrote:

“There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America’s military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the “Obama problem.” Don’t dismiss it as unrealistic.”

“Military intervention is what Obama’s exponentially accelerating agenda for ‘fundamental change’ toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama’s radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.”

Mr. Perry is suggesting the military, whose Commander-In-Chief is President Obama, “take out” the legitimately elected top military leader of our country.

I know many are concerned about our President’s safety and I am certainly one of those people. But I also cannot imagine anyone more in tune with his unique position in life and our country’s history. I have every confidence no harm will come to him or his family. Barack Obama will be our President for two terms and will remain healthy throughout those eight years and well beyond.

Yes, the silent noise is getting louder, and very close to treason.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES

August 13, 2009

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Many people prefer staying in their “comfort zones.” They know what they know and live their lives accordingly – even if what they know is false. Challenging their knowledge with new ideas or asking them to re-think existing ones is usually a recipe for disaster. In other words, truth be damned.

Elected officials, both currently serving and retired know exactly how to use this “false knowledge” to fuel fear, hate and anger. They also know how to make a small “public outcry” seem far bigger and more significant than it really is thus assuring attention from the media, which is always looking for the next “hot” story – as opposed to just reporting news.

And so it is with the most recent “public outcry” about healthcare reform. The two previous “outcries” were not about taxes (the Tea Parties) or the validity of our President’s birth certificate (the Birther Movement) and this current wave of discontent is not about healthcare. These people know nothing about any of the drafted legislation. They did no research to see what is being proposed. They are simply resisting change, yelling the “coded rhetoric” that has been fed to them by the fear-mongerers in media who compare President Obama to Adolph Hitler and any proposed healthcare reform to genocide, euthanasia and death panels for citizens who might not be “worth the cost” of keeping alive. The people at these events don’t want the government “invading” their comfort zone – especially if that “invasion” is being lead by their worst nightmare – a black man.

Our country was heading in what most of us described as the wrong direction. So last year, we used one of our rights under the constitution and voted for change, which included electing an extremely intelligent, well-educated, very reasoned and pragmatic President, who happens to be black AND white. Now that change is here, those who did not vote for it or him are frightened, and extremists within the Republican Party are exploiting that fear with hate-filled rhetoric aimed straight at our President, not his policies.

We have voted for change many times in the last 90 years. (Remember, WE are the government.)

We added an amendment to our constitution giving women the right to vote in 1920.

We passed the Social Security Act which was signed into law by FDR in 1935.

We passed the GI Bill – signed into law in 1944.

We signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

We passed Medicare in 1965.

We again voted for change last year, and won. The “crazies” within the Republican Party now want to deny us what we earned when we not only elected Barack Obama as our 44th President but also elected many new faces to the House and Senate. Mark my words, we will not be denied.

In 1964, Nelson Rockefeller stood up at the Republican Convention and asked Republicans to repudiate extremism.

After he spoke, Barry Goldwater, the soon-to-become Republican nominee stood up and said, “…extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!”

That single line gave Lyndon Johnson all he needed to defeat Goldwater. The famous “Daisy” ad only aired once – but once was enough.

The leaderless Republicans appear to be once again embracing these tactics. Sen. Jim DeMint believes that if Republicans can “break” the President, it will be his Waterloo.

Radio talk show hosts like Michael Savage are perpetuating the idea that our democratically-elected President is a dictator.

Keeping all of this in context, one must understand that media’s extensive coverage of these events is disproportionate. Pundits and their employers are hoping for good tabloid TV and  radio. Most of the gatherings are much smaller than they appear on TV. Here’s some samples of what’s been happening around the country.

In this first video, the additional captions tell you as much as the video does. Pay close attention to what is NOT being said, but can be clearly seen.

Notice the use of words like “trampling,” “shoving” and “molesting” (a car?). The point trying to be made is that these people aren’t being “heard.” What? That’s ALL you hear!

Imagine if the people not “shoving,” not “trampling” and not “molesting” are people of color. Would this not be a very different story?

This young man is wearing what others are saying. He’s clueless. He knows nothing about Hitler, fascism or the Holocaust. To him, it’s just a T-shirt that someone asked him to wear. When confronted with questions, he turns away.

The man below keeps saying that President Obama is lying, but forgets what he was supposed to say after that. His agenda is to get on TV.

These “healthcare events” are being called “Astroturfing Events” because they are NOT real grassroots efforts. They are being sponsored and promoted by some of the same people that brought us the “Tea Parties” – Dick Army’s Freedom Works and of course, FOX News with its list of Democratic Town Hall Meetings. (I downloaded the list to my personal site because I know after August, the list will be gone from their site.)

Here’s some video from Kelly Denver at The Seminal, a pretty good video blogger. 

This was in Tampa, Florida

The President is to blame for the town hall uprisings. Now THAT is some real spinning of these events.

Did you know that when healthcare reform passes, the government will tell us how to die? Neither did I. 🙂 

And then there’s this clown, who was wearing a sidearm standing outside one of our President’s town hall meetings in New Hampshire, where it’s legal to carry. He knows nothing about healthcare reform. He’s just there in defiance of our President.

All of this is going to backfire on the opposition if they don’t get control of the situation. If people continue to see and hear nothing but these lies as the Republican Party’s message, reasonable Republicans and conservatives will go further into hiding, not wanting to be publically associated with this element. Privately, they obviously think they need these people in order for the party to stay releveant. I coudn’t disagree more. A rational Republican needs to step into a leadership role, quickly.

The irony in all of this is the very people that healthcare reform would help the most, the low and middle income aging population, are some of the same people at these events screaming “Hitler” and “Fascist.” Many are receiving Medicare, a single-payer healthcare system, or VA healthcare, a governement-run healthcare system, or Social Security, a governement-run benefits program. As hard as it is to believe, these mule-headed fear-followers don’t realize any of this. They foolishly stand in a crowd, screaming statements they did not create and when questioned, don’t know what they’re screaming about. God forgive them, for they know not what they say.

BTW: Barry Goldwater, the “pro-extremist,” lost BIG in the 1964 Presidential Election.

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These tactics didn’t work in 1964 or in last year’s Presidential Election and they won’t work now. The fringe elements of media are speaking to a diminishing audience. These are the waning years of hard bigotry and racism. By the time my 19 year old son reaches my age, these elements of our society will be even less relevant than they are now.

Until then, sadly, there is no reasoning with these people. Facts will not penetrate their thinking. They refuse to listen to anyone, regardless of intelligence, education and expertise. Trying to debate an issue with them is an exercise in futility. So sit back, watch and be amused. The circus is on a television near you.

On a lighter note, allow me to close with some great lines from two well-known “Michaels.”

And from this Michael: “What a fool believes… no wise man has the power to reason away.”

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

PS – Here’s Mr. “Blue-Eyed Soul” in 1992, singing “What A Fool Believes.”

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NOT IN 2012 – NOT EVER

July 20, 2009

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When she debuted at the RNC Convention last year, she delivered her speech very well. What many people don’t know is that not one word was hers. The speech was written by one of the best speechwriters in the business, Matthew Scully – a writer for George W. Bush. Her ability to deliver the speech via teleprompter came from her experience as a local sportscaster. She rehearsed the speech for several days (with teleprompters), away from the media spotlight.

This was the only way the McCain Campaign was going to gain traction.

It worked until Sarah had to be Sarah:

After these interviews, media and entertainers had a field day:

Pundit World tells us “the Republican base really loves her.” What they are not saying is that this does not represent nearly enough votes to win the Republican nomination for President, much less the Presidency.

While  7 out of 10 Republicans say they would vote for Palin for President in 2012, only 1 out of 5 Americans identify themselves as Republicans.

122,394,724 voted in 2008.

Based on these figures, approximately 24,500,000 people consider themselves Republican. That translates into 17,200,000 votes for Sarah Palin in the 2012 election. Even if she split the independent vote (27% in 2008) with Obama – a highly unlikely scenario – she would add approximately 16,500,000 votes.

Based on her current popularity, Sarah Palin would get approximately 24% of the vote in the 2012 Presidential election.

These facts are not lost on level-headed Republicans. They know Palin can’t win. So do many others. If Obama’s first term is even slightly successful, no Republican can win in 2012.

Then again, that might be the very reason to nominate Palin.

Get her bid for President out of the way in 2012 (figuratively throw her to the wolves) so that a viable contender can run against what may very well be an open field of Democrats in 2016. (Joe Biden will be 74 years old on November 20, 2016.) If she waits until 2016, she would be going up against qualified candidates with the gravitas she’ll never have.

You can’t teach what Sarah Palin needs to learn.

I firmly believe she will say or do something that will completely eliminate her from even considering a Presidential bid – ever. Quitting her job as Alaska’s Governor mid-way through the first term with ethics charges flying is a very good indication of how she handles responsibility. Again, level-headed Republicans are aware.

Sarah Palin will not be the Republican nominee for President.

Not in 2012.

Not ever.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com