Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

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ARE WE DONE NOW?

May 5, 2011

Eight years ago to the day, then President George W. Bush announced “Mission Accomplished.”

It wasn’t.

Sunday, May 1, 2011, our current president did no such thing. But he did announce that a covert military operation ended the life of Osama bin Ladin. For nearly all  Americans, this was the real “Mission Accomplished.” People took to the streets in celebration almost immediately after hearing the news.

This does very little to change the current terrorist landscape. However, we have now accomplished the goal that we set when we invaded Afghanistan: to bring to justice those who perpetrated the 9-11 attacks. Al-Qaida is no longer the top-down, heavily-armed and well-financed organization that it was a decade ago. It has been fractured into small groups throughout the world – sometimes with not more than one or two members per group. And now, their leader is gone.

Militarily, President Obama scored a huge success with the death of bin Ladin. Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA, and the Navy Seals team that handled the mission did a remarkable job.

For those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, there will be some closure and personally, I couldn’t be happier that bin Ladin is out of the picture. But it’s a hollow victory for me. We’ve sacrificed so much blood and treasure over these last nine years that his demise seems far less significant by comparison.

Politically, this event resulted in a boost in the president’s poll numbers. He succeeded where his two predecessors failed. Although, with all the domestic issues that need attention: 8.5% unemployment, stupid-high gas prices, a crumbling infrastructure and increasingly higher food costs, the rise in his popularity will probably be short-lived. As a country, we need to re-think our military strategies. Our “enemies” are not other countries anymore. We do not need huge military forces stationed around the world in order to keep the peace. Small, well-trained forces on the ground like “Seal Team 6” appear to be far more effective. (They executed this operation with incredible precision and not one team member was injured, much less killed.) Plus, so much more can be done from the air than ever before that large numbers of ground troops are not necessary.

The world has become “smaller” and more transparent, especially since 9-11. The human desire to be free is starting to re-shape the Middle East with uprisings in many areas. We can be the beacon of peace in the world by not engaging in warfare and not sticking our foreign policy “nose” where it doesn’t belong. Through the unfiltered lens of the internet, people around the globe can witness life in a free society. What they do with that information is up to them, not us.

So… are we done now?

With 24 people and 40 minutes, we succeeded where nearly ten years, thousands of soldiers lost, tens of thousands of soldiers injured, hundreds of thousands of innocent people killed, and well over a trillion dollars spent, did not.

Can we please end these senseless wars?

Sincerely,

www.MichaelKontras.com

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THE REAL DEAL

February 2, 2010

(Please allow me to indulge in some fiction)

“Good morning, Mr. President.”

“Hi, Katie, how are you?”

“Fine. Thank you sir, and you?”

“Doin’ great. What can I do for you?”

“Sir, Representative Pence from Indiana has invited you to the House Republicans’ Retreat in Baltimore at the end of the month. Would you like to attend?”

“To do… what, exactly?”

“I believe he would like you to speak to the House members and then take a few questions.”

“Do we know what day this is… what time?”

“It’s the Friday after the State of the Union address, sir, 2:00pm.”

“So that’s the uh, the 29th. Am I available?”

“I checked and I believe we can make the necessary arrangements.”

“Okay. Put it on the calendar and if you could, please get Mike’s number for me. I’d like to call him.”

“Yes sir.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

“Good afternoon, Mike. President Obama.”

“Good afternoon Mr. President.”

“I understand you’ve invited me to your retreat in Baltimore.”

“Yes sir. We would like to have you join us for a casual Q and A.”

“I would be more than happy to attend, but I have one request.”

“Sir?”

“I would like it to be televised.”

“Uh… well… we don’t normally do that, sir.”

“I realize that, but I believe it would be benificial for everyone.”

“Well, if you insist, we’ll make the arrangements.”

“I insist. Thanks, Mike. See you then.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

“He’s coming.”

“Really? Good. It’s time he heard from us, one-on-one.”

“There’s just one thing.”

“What?”

“He wants cameras.”

“What? Son of a bitch! What did you tell him?”

“I said, ‘yes.’ What else could I say?”

“Great. That’s juuust great.”

“If I had said ‘no,’ he’d refuse to come and the press would be all over us – again – for not wanting to work with him.”

“Okay, but we’ve got work to do. No softball questions!”

“I understand.”

“No beatin’ around the bush. No bullshit questions about birth certificates, for God’s sake! Make sure you review every question!”

“Absolutely.”

“We have to hit him hard – damn hard – and push for answers on some of our stuff. Pigeon-hole him on across-the-board tax cuts, get him to back off this regulation crap and that piece-of-shit healthcare bill – all of it. We can’t afford to have him succeed on any of it. We gotta keep poundin’ away at him.”

“He won’t know what hit him.”

“Make sure of it!”

“Do you have any questions for him?”

“No!”

(End of fiction)

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Republicans thought if they could get our President, unscripted, in a room full of only their own firing questions, cameras or not, they would “nail him.”

What were they thinking?

Did they really believe the former Harvard Law Review President, Constitutional Scholar/Educator and Civil Rights litigator who headed the most impressive presidential campaign in modern history, couldn’t handle their questions or wouldn’t fire back?

Are you kidding me?

Does this man look intimidated to you?

Why does the opposition continue to underestimate him? Time and time again during the campaign, when it seemed he was losing ground, and pundits started questioning his moves on one thing or another, he would end up silencing nearly every critic. Did they really think now, as President, Obama would suddenly crumble?

When the news hit that the event was going to be televised, TV and radio commentators spewed their gibberish about how it was Obama’s ego that wanted cameras, so people could see him in the proverbial “Lion’s Den.” I think he wanted people to see Republicans asking scripted questions of a President who is much more than a good orator with well-written teleprompter speeches. He wanted people to see a candid Q and A, unfiltered, unscripted (on his part) with no mediation. He said he was going to “call them out” in last year’s address to the joint session of congress, and that’s exactly why he wanted cameras rolling. The Republicans, not prepared for the push-back, were caught flat-footed.

These events are not uncommon among politicians. But never before has one been recorded live. President Obama deserves kudos for attending and the Republicans deserve kudos for allowing us to observe. Everyone wins with this type of exchange. Unfortunately, it will probably not happen again (with Republicans) anytime soon. Off the record, some attending Republicans said it was a mistake to allow cameras.

What we witnessed is politics the way it should be: politicians going nose-to-nose, directly asking and answering questions from each other, thereby giving us the “real deal” on the issues. No hype, no mediators, no pundits.

The event was covered by CNN and MSNBC in its entirety, but for some reason, FOX News cut away 20 minutes before its conclusion. Apparently, their commentators are more important than our President engaged in an open forum Q and A on the critical issues facing the American people. Or maybe, it was because President Obama was not only answering the questions with amazing detail and correcting the misinformation that’s been permiating the dialogue for the last few months, but he was also very honest about some of the short-comings of his first year in office, making the Republicans look foolish for asking silly “gotcha” questions.

Those who doubt our President’s desire to change things in Washington D.C. need only to watch this series of videos. Even if you did not vote for him, watch with an open mind and heart. You will not see an ideologue, but instead, a man who wants the best for this country.

NOTE: Rep. Pence’s microphone was not turned up at the beginning of this exchange

Even at the risk of alienating many in his own party, our President continues to extend the “olive branch” to his opposition. He knows if he can bring Democrats and Republicans together on enough issues, it will reduce the influence of specials interests, and Americans will start seeing collaboration instead of confrontation.

I remain hopeful.

Sincerely,

www.MichaelKontras.com

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FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL

January 31, 2010

Years ago, the minister in our church was giving a message on faith. As she embellished on the “evidence-of-things-not-seen” theme, she also spoke about “false evidence appearing real.” I find myself reflecting on those four words nearly every day.

As our 44th President enters his second year in office, my thoughts go back to his campaign. I, like he, am a pragmatist. As soaring as his rhetoric is, and his ability to deliver that rhetoric unmatched in my lifetime, I (like he) knew once in the Oval Office, his hopes for our country would be attacked ruthlessly everyday. It is always the case, especially with Democratic Presidents. As a rule, they usually want to improve our country’s social structure, which is an anathema to many who would like nothing better than to go back to the “Roaring Twenties.” Our President’s desire to bring people together to solve the nation’s problems continues to be met with staunch opposition, not because his ideas are wrong, but because his political opposition wants him to fail.

Since there is no rational reason for attacking his desire to make our country better, lying becomes the only course of action.

But lies alone won’t work. They must be worded correctly and marketed to the lowest intellectual common denominator, using words that appeal to peoples’ emotions and ignoring facts where necessary.

In other words, create false evidence that appears real.

A consultation with your doctor once every five years about end-of-life choices is labeled “death panel.” One of the twenty-one choices in a health insurance exchange managed exactly like the Medicare reimbursement program is the “government take-over of our entire healthcare system.”

Loaning money to the auto industry (something we’ve done more than once in the last few decades) is the government “now in the business of building cars.”

Not only are these statements false, but they are designed to invoke fear. Once fear is implanted, people gravitate to whoever is feeding them this “evidence.”  Yelling “fire” in a theatre may be wrong and even illegal, but once you hear someone shout it, you’re first inclination is to heed the warning, not investigate its truthfulness.

Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster and author of “Words That Work,” describes Americans as “…on the whole, ill-read, provincial, sullen and frightened.” He says they are, “… susceptible to mere rhetoric and responsive to arguably bogus appeals,” “…no matter what the facts.” I wish I could disagree entirely, but unfortunately, there is some truth to his statements.

However, I do believe Americans are slowly waking up. Politicians’ tactics, as they try to “crush” their opponents and further their personal agendas just to get elected and re-elected, are becoming transparent. With microphones and cameras everywhere, and most members of congress technologically challenged in this “information age,” many still speak and act indiscriminately, seemingly unaware of this new environment.

Can the day when John Boehner reveals his alcoholism, Pat Robertson reveals his true colors – which are anything but Christian – and media pundits’ blather becomes insignificant, be far off? I don’t think so. If the so-called awesome power of Rush Limbaugh, the 700 Club and FOX News can’t keep a man named Barack Hussein Obama from becoming President of the United States, we’re headed in the right direction.

It’s becoming more difficult to make False Evidence Appear Real.

Amen to that!

Sincerely,

www.MichaelKontras.com

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ARE YOU SURE?

December 2, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

Are you sure?

I applaud you for not concerning yourself with politics in making your decision. I will not however, commend you for taking time to consider every possible option. It’s part of your job description. This is why I voted for you. I wanted pragmatic, discerning leadership in the White House.

But are you sure?

 

I watched the young cadets as they watched you. It is possible some may be lost in battle because of your decision. It is possible one of these faces could someday belong to Malia or Sasha. I know you understand this. As you embraced these cadets after your address, I couldn’t help but wonder how soon their wide-eyed youthful faces would be forever hardened and pre-maturely aged by the horrific experiences of war.

So, are you sure?

I trust you are implementing this plan with knowledge that far exceeds my own. I am but a distant observer; knowing only what I hear and read – and what history teaches. I believe you have information of the region’s extremely volatile nuclear situation that neither can be, nor should be shared publically. I “hear” you when you say this is not like previous conflicts.

But are you sure?

Your eyes revealed more than your words as you addressed our nation and the world last night. I saw great concern, not about your decision, but about unknown consequences. You displayed “heaviness of heart’ through your facial expressions. This tells me you did not come to your conclusions with ease.

 

 

So, if you’re sure, I’m with you.

I will set aside my personal ideology.

Sincerely,

www.MichaelKontras.com

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THE RINGER

October 14, 2009

TheRinger2LOGO

Meet Sen. Olympia Snowe.

She voted for the Baucus Bill, going against her fellow Republicans, but made it clear that this “…was her vote today,” “…tomorrow is a different day…” and could be “…a different vote.” The now-famous “Public Option” amendment was not in this bill, which many think is the reason Snowe said “yes.”

I disagree. (I know how surprised you must be.)

Olympia Snowe could very well be President Obama’s “ringer” in this game of healthcare reform.

StethescopeResearching her history, one finds that our President and Sen. Snowe have some things in common. Neither came from privilege. Both were raised, in part, by family members other than their biological parents. Both have fathers who were born in other countries. Both are highly educated, earning multiple degrees from different colleges and universities. Her voting record certainly indicates pragmatism in decision-making – a trait our President has demonstrated often.

And both want real healthcare reform.

The Senior Senator’s voting record (approximately 58% with Republicans) is not only good for our President, but is also good for Maine and the rest of our country. This 62 year old legislator keeps her thoughts very close to the vest, rarely gives interviews, and even walks up the back stairs when entering the capitol building, to avoid the media.

BaucusCommittee

I believe the reason Sen. Snowe voted for the Baucus Bill was to get it out of committee and move the process forward. She knows, as does everyone involved, the real “battle” will take place “in conference,” which is still three steps away, as I illustrate in From Bill to Law.

Her “yes” vote also has one other very important attribute: it will probably open the door for other moderate Republicans to vote against party lines in subsequent votes. This will give real healthcare reform – which will include a robust “Public Option” – the momentum it needs to become law before the end of the year.

Our President is not only aware of these probabilities, he’s counting on them becoming realities. As I said in Strategy Over Blather, congress will fight the “battles” and he will win the “war.” If he needs to step into the battles, he will do so, privately.

We’re already further along in the process than we’ve been since 1912 when Theodore Roosevelt – a two-term Republican – first introduced healthcare reform running for a third term as, believe it or not, a Progressive candidate in the Progressive Party of 1912. This was their position on “Health,” November 5, 1912:

TRoosevelt“We favor the union of all the existing agencies of the Federal Government dealing with the public health into a single national health service without discrimination against or for any one set of therapeutic methods, school of medicine, or school of healing with such additional powers as may be necessary to enable it to perform efficiently such duties in the protection of the public from preventable diseases as may be properly undertaken by the Federal authorities, including the executing of existing laws regarding pure food, quarantine and cognate subjects, the promotion of vital statistics and the extension of the registration area of such statistics, and co-operation with the health activities of the various States and cities of the Nation.”

Further reading of the platform reveals how long the Republican Party has been in the grip of big corporations. This “grip” on our country’s politics came to a head during Republican President Herbert Hoover’s term (1929-1933) and resulted in the Great Depression. Sound familiar?

As a well-read student of history, President Obama knows all-too-well what to do to avoid the errors of the past when making sweeping social change.

So does Olympia Snowe.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

PS – Sen. Snowe and I also have some commonality: both of us have Greek parents and we were both baptized in the Greek Orthodox faith.

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GREAT EXPECTATIONS

October 13, 2009

GreatExpectationsLOGO

It’s around noon. My phone sounds the familiar jingle, letting me know I’ve received a text.

“How many times do you think Rahm said ‘f–k!’ this morning?”

“HAHAHAHA! He’s probably still slammin’ doors. 🙂

My son’s sense of humor, once again, made me laugh out loud in my otherwise quiet work environment.

Our President’s situation, however, is not a laughing matter. There is no doubt the Obama Administration knew what was coming after the President received the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.  

Whether he’s “earned” it or not, it was obvious the Nobel Committee decided he had done enough to transform minds around the globe about our country. It could be argued that part of the reason for this award is a rebuke of our previous President and how he isolated America from the rest of the world. But let’s not diminish how much this President is loved and admired by so many nations.

Here’s just one example: Remember the 200,000 people in Germany waving AMERICAN Flags?

GermanyComposite

While his political opposition was calling him a “celebrity,” world leaders were paying attention to the positive feelings of hope and peace he was attracting toward our country. His message was always about negotiation, and using military force as a protective – not punitive – measure. His stance against invading Iraq is certainly a good illustration. At every turn, then-candidate Obama made it clear that he would end that ill-conceived conflict and try to bring to justice those who were responsible for the 9-11 attacks. He was presenting a major shift in foreign policy thinking and the positive response from the rest of the world cannot be overstated.

Now as President, he is faced with what I would consider a “lose-lose” situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. None of the choices are definitive. None will result in a “win.” If he escalates troop levels, he appears to go against one of the reasons the Nobel Committee awarded him. If he maintains troop levels, it still looks like a never-ending conflict, and if he withdraws, there may be the risk of a future attack. All of this is against the backdrop of an Afghan government that appears corrupt and unable (or unwilling) to lead its people away from the Taliban and Al-Qaida and a Pakistan with nuclear arms.

This is not a political issue, but rest-assured, no matter what our President decides, the opposition will attack him – hard. Republicans seem to be in favor of troop escalation, which is a double-edged sword for him. If he escalates, his image as a peace-maker will be attacked. If he withdraws or leaves the situation status quo, he’ll be labeled as weak and unable to defend our national interests abroad. Neither is true.

Our President will not make this critical foreign policy decision based on polls or politics. He will take his time, utilizing the same pragmatism he has displayed so many times before.  

When the announcement came to the President at 6:00am on October 9th, Republicans and conservatives had a field day, showing their immaturity, instead of realizing that anytime a US President is recognized for peaceful leadership on the world’s stage, it is good for our country. 

01Limbaugh

01Limbaugh202Kristol03Beck04Redstate05Bolton07Kilmeade 

Contrary to what some think, I don’t believe the Nobel Committee had political motives for awarding our President the Peace Prize. Rather, they believe him to be a transformative figure on the world stage – a chance to be the leader in peaceful, non-military solutions for some of the world’s “hot spots.”

Michael Moore’s response summed it up well: “Congratulations President Obama on the Nobel Peace Prize – now please earn it!”

As President, and now Nobel Lariat, Barack Obama has certainly garnered great expectations.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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FROM BILL TO LAW

October 1, 2009

BilltoLawLOGO2

I’m starting to understand the frustration that our President must feel when he hears some of the uneducated, and even stupid comments coming from congressional members on healthcare. And if you believe some of the punditry, you would think the healthcare bill will be law next week. It’s understandable how lay-persons can be swayed to believe some of this gibberish.

As I watch all of the back and forth, it occurs to me that very few understand how a bill becomes law. Before anyone can discuss the very complicated issue of healthcare and the needed changes, one must first know the process. It’s exhaustive, especially when there is so much political opposition to changing the way we currently distribute healthcare in this country.

As of today, October 1st, we are far away from a healthcare bill. When you hear people say the bill includes this and doesn’t include that, they’re wrong. There is no single bill – only drafts of committee bills.

Here’s how a final healthcare bill (or any bill) moves through congress, step by step. First: all the steps.

BillLaw01

There are five committees looking at healthcare reform. Three in the House and two in the Senate. This is where we are right now. (Please note: I found these charts early in September. The deadline set by Sen. Baucus came and went, and the current draft did not include the co-ops seen on the chart.)

BillLaw02

The 23-member Baucus Committee ran a couple of what I’ll call “trial” votes earlier this week to “take a pulse” on the public option within his committee. The first vote resulted in an 8-15 vote against the draft. Five Democrats voted against it. An amendment was added, “softening” the public option, and another vote was taken. This time, it was 10-13 against. The draft gained two more Democrats. No Republicans voted for either draft.

None of these preliminary votes mean anything. We are still four big steps away from a bill reaching the President’s desk.

BillLaw03

BillLaw04

BillLaw05

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So take a deep breath, fans of the public option. As I said in Strategy Over Blather, we will prevail.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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THE DANGER OF A BROKEN RECORD

September 17, 2009

BrokenRecordLOGO

“When we lose our curiosity, we disarm ourselves as Americans.”

This quote is not from some philosopher. I didn’t hear it in a political speech or from a CEO. This was said by a man who is a former college football player and coach, a hunter and fisherman, and the owner of two small businesses. 

I’ll tell you who it is later.*

This lack of “curiosity” (or what many of us call “intellectual curiosity”) identifies a shrinking but noisy part of our citizenship. They loudly repeat what they hear, with no concern for the veracity of their words. If they heard it from their favorite commentator, it must be true.

In a nutshell, this is the formula for the success of FOX News and others emulating their format on TV and radio.

The people at FreedomWorks, (Dick Army’s organization), Glenn Beck’s 9-12 Project, the Tea Party Organizers and FOX News (the highest rated cable news network) decided to join forces for a show of strength against our President’s policies. With all of that publicity, and all spring and summer to prepare and promote this event, you would think that they would have packed the National Mall on September 12th. If it’s true that a large majority of the 300,000,000+ Americans aren’t happy with this President, one would expect at least 1% (3,000,000) to show up. But that’s not what happened. It wasn’t 1%, it wasn’t 1/10th of 1% (300,000), it was .022% (approximately 66,000) according to the DC police and fire departments. Not a small crowd, but certainly not what it was hyped up to be:

FreedomWorks said there were “…hundreds of thousands…” on their website.

FreedomWorksSite

The video below tries to make you believe that, “Rare footage from the terrace of the US Capitol building and time lapse footage of protesters marching down Pennsylvania Avenue illustrate the gathering of people who attended the March on Washing…”

Here’s a still from the footage. I noted the tower on the left for a reason.

FakeVideoSlide

Using the tower as a marker, watch how many times the same footage repeats to make you think there were far more people in attendance than authorities reported.

Here’s the rebuttal of a statement made at the gathering that ABC News reported 1 to 1.5 million attending.

Crowd Size Misquoted

In an attempt to discredit the truth, the picture below was distributed showing the National Mall filled with people. Once verified, it was revealed that the photo is at least 5 years old.

Fake Photo

The picture was of the Promise Keepers’ gathering in 1997. Less than one minute of research reveals this. Those with no intellectual curiosity don’t want to know. They find it easier to just repeat what they’ve heard.

I’m not going to bother to show you what FOX News, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck (who did not show up at his own gathering) had to say about the attendance. They reported anywhere from 1.5 to over 2 million. Unlike their viewership and listeners, the rest of us know how to use a PC for research. 

What we saw at this gathering was a re-run of what we’ve seen all spring and summer: the same derogatory signs, the same all-white crowds and the same speeches. Below are some pictures from this most recent event that could have been taken at any of the anti-Obama events this year.

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 DC 10

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It’s beginning to look (and sound) like a broken record.

I can’t stress this enough: what we are witnessing is fear and its offspring: hate (in the form of bigotry). I do believe some are there out of a real concern for this country’s future and not just because they don’t like the color of our President’s skin. But because they are only “armed” with what they hear, they don’t realize they are protesting against their own best interests. Whatever freedoms they think they are losing are not in jeopardy. The so-called “out-of-control government spending” that they are protesting has been going on since the 1980s.

Reagan cut taxes on the top 2% and the deficit doubled in his eight years. Here’s his reasoning:

George H. W. Bush had to go back on his “Read my lips – no new taxes” statement and raise taxes during his term because the Reagan deficits were “out of control.”

In his 1992 debate, George H. W. Bush discusses the recession – obviously Reagan’s economic policies did not work. You also see why Bill Clinton won the election.

When George W. Bush came into office, we were operating with a balanced budget and a surplus. We were also reducing the debt.

Here’s some charts for you visual learners like me. 🙂

 SurplusesDeficits

SpendingTaxes

One reason for Clinton’s economic policy success was “Pay-Go” (new spending had to be paid for and could not be added to the national debt). It was, unfortunately, allowed to expire in 2002.

It’s doubtful that anyone in the pictures above has done any of this research. They instead chose to be fearful and angry. What’s more pathetic is publically elected officials who will not stand up for what they know (at least I think they know) is the truth about these issues. They allow the misinformation to continue to divide us, because it’s more important to them to be re-elected than it is to bring this country together. Three of them spoke at the gathering. 

3 Repubs

There is a subtle underlying theme through all of these events starting to creep into mainstream media that is disconcerting. It’s the lack of respect for our legitimately elected President. Not his policies – him. Many of our citizens will never believe that a black man deserves to be President of the United States. Former President Jimmy Carter brought this thought to the forefront in an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams on September 15th

I hesitantly agree with some of what he said. My hesitation comes not from disbelief of his words, but from a desire to not attract more disrespect for President Obama.

And while I do believe there is racism in the afore mentioned events, I do not want to leave you with the idea that I think everyone that attended is racist. The issue is in desperate need of serious and thoughtful discussion, but I’m concerned that even the most constructive conversation may be twisted into dangerous dialogue. This is when a lack of curiosity morphs into something far more harmful.

I pray this period of our nation’s history is not marked by something that I’ve lived through too many times before.

Dangerous dialogue, indeed.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

* Ed Shultz, 09-15-09

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JUST GET IT OVER WITH

September 12, 2009

 

JustGetItOverWithLOGO

Is the Republican Party trying to commit suicide?

There is no other way to explain what most of us watched during and after the President’s speech on healthcare to a joint session of congress and the American people.

The “You Lie” outburst of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) was, of course, deplorable.

Re. Joe Wilson - YOU LIE

Any publically elected official who can’t show respect for the office of the President of the United States does not deserve to be sitting in that chamber.

It's A lie - Reaction Shot

Yes, he apologized. But let’s face it, there’s no real way to apologize for being classless. His apology only came after party leaders told him to man-up. I realize a political party can’t be held responsible for every member’s actions, but they can make sure he doesn’t receive any support in the next election. They also could have denounced his actions in the rebuttal. Whoops. Never mind. That was pre-taped. (Another stupid move.)

Speaking of the rebuttal: why on earth would you pick Rep. Charles – call me “Lord” – Boustany (R-LA)?

Boustany

Obviously, the party didn’t research him any better than McCain researched Palin.

A simple Google search would have yielded enough negative information to give most leaders pause.

Boustany-Google

Boustany actually tried to buy the title “Lord” from a couple of conmen in EnglandWhen he realized he got scammed, instead of just letting it go so it wouldn’t become public, he sued them! He has hauled in $1.25M from Health and Insurance Industry. He was a “Birther.” He’s been sued 8 times for malpractice. He co-sponsored the end-of-life consultation portion of the current bill in the house (HR 3200), saying that it was a good idea – then backed-off when things got heated. Surely, the Republicans could have found someone with less baggage.

Let’s don’t leave Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) out. He could be seen texting nearly every time the camera went to him.

Rep. Eric Cantor - Twittering

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, wrote an article highlighting the events that took place on the floor while the President was speaking.

Add the “Tea Parties,” the “Birther” Movement, the “Deather” Movement, the “Socialist Indoctrination” of our children, the ministers that believe (“according to the Bible” no less) that President Obama should die, and the staged town hall meetings on healthcare, to the above events, and you have a party that is not only shrinking, but is on a path to self-destruction.

Why prolong the agony?

Take the pills, lie down, and get it over with.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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YOU GOTTA LAUGH, OR YOU’LL CRY

September 12, 2009

YouGottaLaughLOGO

I can’t believe I’m even writing about this.

The President gives a “pep talk” to our students, encouraging them to stay in school, work hard, behave and follow their dreams. Most of us heard these words growing up – from our parents, our teachers and yes, our Presidents. Somehow, this simple, traditional address to our children, has been turned into “Socialist Indoctrination” by the loonies in the Republican Party.

The “additional” materials were a guideline for students to be able to follow what the President was saying – hardly propaganda or indoctrination.

This “man-on-the-street” video is interesting, showing a UPI reporter asking questions

Here’s some of what our President had to say.

Even Laura Bush praised Obama for his speech.

I don’t know if this little blip of an “outcry” is stupidity or bigotry, but it is certainly politics at its worst. If it was only coming from the talking heads on radio and television, it would not be unexpected, but coming from publically elected officials in congress, it is what President Obama has previously called part of the “Silly Season.” He is being kind.

In closing, I couldn’t resist sharing these comments from NBC’s “Newsvine” blog.

Sometimes, this is too much fun.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com