Wednesday, April 29, 2009

100 Days of President Barack Obama: So Far, So Good

President Barack Hussein Obama has completed his first 100 days as Commander-in-Chief, and overall his performance has been good. Not great... not awful... but good!

His selection of Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was an excellent choice––one of the best he has made thus far. This single appointment helped formulate an opinion in the minds of many Americans about this virtually unknown man from Hawaii, Kenya, Indonesia, by-way of Chicago. Choosing Clinton as his Condoleeza Rice demonstrated his ability to to forge alliances––even with his enemies–– for the good of the people. That characteristic will be vitally important as Obama moves to bring warring factions to the table to establish some sort of peace in the Middle East.

Obama's recent release of President Bush's torture documents and soon-to-be-released photos from the Pentagon depicting abuses of several terror detainees, has the potential to backfire and severely hamstring his policy goals going forth. His often repeated position of "moving forward, turning the page, and not wasting valuable time and energy looking back" was the one 'constant' mantra of his which made him look statesmanlike and Reaganesque. But, his obvious reversal of stance by releasing these explosive documents will be a haunting moment in history for him, his administration and the United States... for years to come.

The economy, economy, economy! The jury is still out on President Obama and his treasury team. Amanda Ruggeri of U.S. sums it up best:

"When he launched his campaign for president, Barack Obama could not have foreseen that the signature accomplishment of his first 100 days in office would likely involve spending $787 billion on an economic stimulus package. But the effects of that piece of legislation—one heavy with both expenditures and expectations of economic recovery—may well determine Obama's success as president."

Juggling his concern and commitment for the 'little man'... while keeping the financial titans of Wall Street onboard his rocky boat, has been a feat well worth watching. Obama knows that if he loses the confidence of African Americans by sucking up to or being seen as too appeasing to White establishment... or, if he loses White Americans in mass because he is perceived as being too socialistic by spreading their wealth around to Blacks and other minorities... he will be a one-term President without a doubt. Walking that tightrope is one he will have to do his entire presidency.

President Obama's foriegn policy and interactions with world leaders–– while being criticized by many on the 'Right' as concilliatory––is really quite smart. It would seem that as a black male growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama probably learned at an early age that his size and color made him suspect and not easy-to-be-trusted by some in the majority. The same judgement and mistrust probably applied when he moved to inner city Chicago–– talking and acting like a White person among the brothers in the 'hood.

So, he more than likely mastered that skill of playing the underdog, the apologist, the weaker one, until he could get his peers to feel comfortable enough with him to include him in their inner circle... as he appears to be quite adept at it. That strategy seems to be working quite well for President Obama even now, as he plays on the world stage. America's size and some of its actions in the past have made her untrustworthy and hated by many around the globe. It's a brilliant move on President Obama's part to play the underdog until other nations, and their leaders, feel comfortable with the U.S. again and embrace us as the leading nation we are.

Overall, Obama has done a good job his first three months in office. His popularity among the people is his saving grace... and he is going to need to maintain that popularity as a tsunami is more than likely waiting for him, and this country, right over the horizon, and guaranteed to test the very core of who and what we are!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Terror In NY: Obama's Plane Does A 911 "Gotcha" Moment

Startled and afraid New Yorkers were gripped with panic when a low-flying Air Force One look-alike plane flew over the Hudson River today. This scheduled photo-op, which was allegedly sanctioned by the White House, happened early Monday morning, unbeknownst to local residents and, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, neither was his office informed of the fly-over as well.

Bloomberg, in an attempt to distance himself from any culpability, stated in a hastily arranged press conference that he did receive "an e-mail notification" which

“...did have the normal language of saying this is sensitive information, should be distributed on a need-to-know basis, that they did not plan to have any publicity about it, which I think is ridiculous and just poor judgment.”

Bloomberg, who was obviously angry at the ill-timed stunt added:

"Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo-op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination. Poor judgment would be a nice ways to phrase it, but they did. I also think that once they had told us, we should have done a better job. Had I known about it, I would have called them right away and asked them not to. It is the federal government and they can do in the end what they please, but I would have tried to stop it. I don’t know there’s a lot else to say other than they shouldn’t have done it".

Many in the main stream media have been hesitant to report on this story. However, eyewitnesses reported that frightened employees evacuated buildings, and pregnant women scurried down flights of stairs. Other accounts were that some people, who possibly survived September 11th, were seen weeping uncontrollably as memories of those two planes, which were commandeered by nineteen Arab hijackers and slammed into the World Trade Center, were revisited.

Whoever authorized this cruel fly-over joke is a dangerous individual who has no place in government in a post 9/11 age. President Obama will surely fire such a person or persons... and offer a sincere apology to the American people for allowing this hoax to be perpetrated under his watch!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The True Winner: Ms. Carrie Prejean

BY: cheri wells, Memphis, TN.; Guest Blogger

And so, once again Americans can be assured that it is not your honest answer to a question that most people want... but rather, the one that makes them feel most comfortable. Case in point: Miss California, Ms Carrie Prejean, 1st Runner-up to Miss USA 2009.

During the recent nationally televised pageant, she was asked her view on same-sex marriage. Instead of giving a typical nuanced answer, instead of side-stepping the controversial query, instead of hemming and hawing, instead of dancing around that land mine question, instead of giving the judge who posed the question what he wanted to hear, she spoke of her convictions. Ms. Prejean said honestly that she believed what the Bible taught: that marriage should only be between and man and a woman. Period!

She had to know what that answer would mean to her chances of becoming the next Miss USA, but she apparently didn’t care. Ms. Prejean appears to know of whom, and in what she believes, unlike a pastor from her same state, the infamous Pastor Rick Warren, best-selling author of The Purpose-Driven Life and The Purpose-Driven Church. Pastor Warren, who recently appeared on Larry King Live and cowered to popular opinion on the subject of gay marriage, rather than to hold on to his previous position and pastoral integrity.

Unlike Pastor Rick, Carrie remembered Psalm 84:10, which states, "Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my GOD than dwell in the tents of the wicked".

She chose to be a doorkeeper rather than a door-popper. (All the big ballers and shot callers know what that term means.) Seems like Carrie’s hired; Rick’s fired!

Ms. Prejean must have felt for a brief instance like the students at Columbine High, who, when asked by those bent on a killing spree, if they believed in GOD. Ms. Prejean's two-minute answer is surely being likened to the proverbial shot heard around the world today. This young woman did what many have tried to escape... answered a question, and stood on her beliefs 'unequivocally'.

It is not in the least bit ironic that Ms. Prejean's game-changing event would come on the heels of the April 13th Newsweek front cover and article, which erroneously reported the decline and fall of CHRISTianity in America. It seems that Ms. Carrie Prejean has dismantled the hypothesis behind that article singlehandedly.

Oh... by the way, who won the Miss USA 2009 contest? Funny, her name is on no one’s lips or hearts. Hurray for Carrie, the true winner!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stimulus Update: GM Will Cut 1,600 Jobs

A short while ago, Americans were being told that the need to get the bail out money and the stimulus money approved and into the hands of these companies was critical to stemming the hemorrhaging, the financial meltdown, and loss of jobs in this country. These billions of dollars were necessary to jump-start the economy, create jobs, and put Americans back to work.

So, today's announcement to cut approximately 1,600 GM employees from the rolls before the week ends is devastating news. These cuts, by America's leading car manufacturing company, will target white collar, salaried employees, but will also impact the rank-and-file workers as well.

"'This will be a very trying time for the entire GM team, especially for the employees impacted by this action,'" said the email from Troy Clarke, president of GM North America.

Clarke's email told employees that 1,600 of those cuts would take place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week".

President Barack Obama, viewed widely as the defacto CEO of GM after he fired Rick Wagoner, the former chairman and CEO the latter part of March, may take a major hit on this one and be forced to expend any political capital he has left as these cuts and expected Union concessions roll out.

In an email to its membership, the United Auto Workers' leadership urged union workers, their family members and supporters to contact the White House and "insist that workers and retirees must be treated in a fair and equitable manner in any restructuring plans."

"We need President Obama and his auto task force to stand up for the interests of workers and retirees in these restructuring negotiations," the e-mail said. "Please call or e-mail President Obama right away on this critically important issue."

How to square this circle is going to take some doing. Laid off workers will surely want to know: "if the bail out/stimulus money is not keeping the little man, the regular workers on the job... where is all the money going"?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

TEA Parties Will Accomplish WHAT Exactly??

Thousands of communities across this nation are organizing TEA Party Tax Revolt events for April 15th. These T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) parties, being billed as a grassroot movement designed to send a message to the elected officials in Washington, appear to be a recipe for clashes and civil unrest.

Understanding that these TEA party events, which have been internet driven and dubbed "peaceful-protest-rallies", are well organized and part of a nationwide movement to demonstrate middle-class Americans furor against increased spending and the need to stop these bailouts with taxpayer money. But, what will prohibit rabble-rousers, and anti-TEA Party zealots, or just-plain-nut-cases from infiltrating these peaceful events and causing trouble or inciting violence? Just asking.

What? With an unusually high degree of anger in the air because so many have lost jobs, homes, 401k and retirement investments... plus a noticed ratcheting of fury and vitriolic feelings across political, cultural and racial lines since the election of President Barack Obama, I must beg the question: are these 'TEA Parties' really a good idea at this time in history? Is any and everyone invited to join in these 'fed-up-with-government-and-ain't-taking-no-more-rallies", i.e., gang members, young angry whites and Blacks, KKK members, skin-heads?

These suburban organizers need to realize that America is not Mayberry anymore. No, our nation is more reflective of that movie: "New Jack City" these days.

My skepticism lies more in "who is in charge and what is to be accomplished"? And recent articles such as Scott Kraus', of are not reassuring whatsoever:

"No one's sure how big the movement, fueled by politically conservative bloggers and talk radio hosts, and backed by conservative groups headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, really is.

Previous rallies in Orlando, Fla., and Cincinnati have drawn several thousand. Others have been smaller. Organizers say there are 500 rallies scheduled in all 50 states on tax day.

The rumblings of unrest reflect genuine angst among fiscal conservatives who value individual responsibility, abhor government spending and suddenly find themselves completely out of power in Washington, said Harrisburg-based Republican political consultant Charlie Gerow."
Maybe it's my old-age showing... but I hope each city has an advanced security plan in place––just in case.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Queen May Have Needed A Hug From Michelle

The chatter surrounding the hug Michelle Obama gave to Queen Elizabeth during her recent visit to Buckingham Palace seems much ado about nothing. Granted, hundreds of years of established protocol was breached by the now-infamous 'touch'... but it may have taken a woman of African descent finally being invited to the palace to debunk that age old 'don't touch the Queen' tradition.

The Queen didn't seem to mind, as it was she who reached out first and touched Michelle. As a matter of fact, the Queen, who far too often appears void of emotion... may have needed a hug from the touchy feely, 1st Lady Michelle to help her reconnect to every day people!

So, bloggers and international press corp members move on from here. Go sister-girl Michelle.