Tag Archive: Obama

The U.S. workforce grew a 151,ooo jobs stronger in October 2010 but the economy remains relatively weak with unemployment at 9.6 percent.

“The employment gains were concentrated in the private sector–which added 159,000 jobs – especially in service industries. Temporary-help firms added 35,000 positions; health-care employers added 24,000; and the retail sector added 28,000 jobs. The government sector was a drain on employment, shedding 8,000 positions in October,” according to the Washington Post.

“The fact is, an encouraging jobs report doesn’t make a difference if you’re still one of the millions of people who are looking for work,” Obama said

In earlier press conferences after the GOP took over the house, Obama noted both parties must work together to respond issues that are most important to the nation, the economy.

The president warned against partisan gridlock in the wake of this week’s midterm Republican landslide. “The most important competition we face in this new century will not be between Democrats and Republicans,” Obama said. “…Other countries, like China, aren’t standing still, so we can’t stand still either.”

However, The GOP and the Obama’s weakened administration have their own agendas. The Republicans are determined to repeal Obama’s Healthcare reform and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made statements on ending Obama’s chances for a second term.

I feel the possibility of both parties working together is highly unlikely but for the economy’s sake, the two parties must actually work together to turn this economy around.

Staff writer Sam Youngman from the Hill newspaper, reports on President Barack Obama’s planned trip after the mid-term elections. I also got to contribute to the story with some interesting and historic facts. The full article below:

President Obama is giving Republicans a 10-day window to set the agenda for a lame-duck session and the new legislative year by leaving the country right after the midterm elections.

The timing of the president’s trip to Asia is worrying some Democrats, who believe it could cede further momentum to a resurgent Republican Party that might win a House majority on Nov. 2.

“Unless we’re planning to hold the lame duck in India, it makes zero sense to take a 10-day overseas trip right after what could be a disastrous midterm election,” said one Democratic strategist, speaking on background so as not to anger White House officials. “It will demoralize Democrats and needlessly cede message and momentum to Republicans.”

But the White House says the trip, which will also cover Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, is an important part of the president’s effort to strengthen the economy, the issue that has left Obama and his Democratic allies in peril.

“The president understands that his job requires him to focus on more than one important thing at time,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. “Make no mistake, a top priority of the president’s trip is ensuring markets in Asia are open to American businesses that are instrumental to creating jobs and growing the economy here at home.”

The trip, moved up a couple of days by the White House, is not without precedent, and a similar decision once resulted in a happy ending for Democrats.

Former President Clinton took a page from a Southwest Airlines “Want to get away?” commercial and left Washington for a summit in Asia immediately after Republicans won House and Senate majorities in a 54-seat tsunami in 1994. Clinton was eviscerated by the press for leaving the country after his party was left in shambles and the future of his presidency was in doubt.

“Bill Clinton’s escape from a shell-shocked White House during the post-election turmoil that descended on his administration and his party serves as a metaphor for his unraveling presidency,” wrote conservative columnist Donald Lambro.

Former Clinton White House officials, however, said time away from the country gave Clinton time to gain perspective and remind voters of the power of the presidency on the foreign policy front.

Dee Dee Myers, Clinton’s press secretary at the time, said that while a lot of people questioned the decision for the president to be out of the country, she thought it was a plus for Clinton to be away to “refocus his mindset beyond the contours of domestic policies.”

“It’s a little counter-intuitive, but it makes sense,” Myers said.

The story turned out well for Clinton, who emerged from his well documented war with Newt Gingrich’s Congress to win reelection in 1996. But Obama faces higher national unemployment figures, a new breed of angry Republican and a media environment that has been on a steady regimen of steroids since the Clinton days.

Obama, who has stayed close to home in 2010 after a whirlwind globe-trotting first year in office his administration said was designed to “restore America’s reputation abroad,” has struggled to maintain message discipline when out of the country.

During the summer of 2009 while the healthcare debate was raging, the president was forced to issue a clarifying statement during a trip in Moscow to walk back remarks then-chief of staff Rahm Emanuel made to The Wall Street Journal about the public health insurance option.

This trip has the potential to be much worse for Obama and Democrats, the Democratic strategist said, by giving Republicans a head-start in pushing for an across-the-board extension of the Bush tax cuts.

“Mark my words, they will seize the moment and ram an extension of the Bush tax cuts down our throats,” the strategist said. “Fair or not, [the trip] is just a terrible idea.”

But Larry Berman, an expert on the presidency and a political science professor at the University of California-Davis, said there is little political risk in Obama’s travel even though the “bloggers and Obama-haters are having a field day.”

Obama has been “putting most of his time and energy these past two months into the elections, trying to re-energize his base and hold losses,” Berman said. “It now makes sense to let the dust settle before returning to what looks certain to be a different political dynamic in D.C.

“Being away will allow for some perspective, perhaps a change in game plan and personnel.”

Jamal Simmons, an aide to Clinton in 1994, said Obama has a job to do as president, and his presence in Washington during the aftermath of this year’s elections is unnecessary.

“The president is not a pundit, so there’s not much use for him to sit around and haggle about the election results,” Simmons said. “Whether the Democrats win or lose, the president ought to be getting back to work governing the country and managing foreign affairs.”

Myers said that while the Washington echo chamber is filled with media and pundit speculation about the meaning of the election results, Obama will at least have the comfort of distance as he waits for the dust to settle.

“It’s not a very productive time to be in Washington,” Myers said. “There’s not much you can do.”

Cross-posted from The Hill

What was first known as a grassroots movement to limit the role of government and promote states right is now being a labeled a racist organization- The Tea Party.

The Tea Party made head-waves in late 2009 through organized protests against federal laws. In my eyes, they have become a political force to be reckoned with but with the current controversy that has surfaced, the may hinder their own progress to impact the political system.

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is pointing fingers at the Tea Party for harboring racist elements within its political agendas and has asked them to renounce “ultra-nationalist and racist factions within the organization,” according to NAACP President Ben Jealous.

“For more than a year we’ve watched as Tea Party members have called congressmen the N-word, have called congressmen the F-word. We see them carry racist signs and whenever it happens, the membership tries to shirk responsibility,” Jealous said.

“If the Tea Party wants to be respected and wants to be part of the mainstream in this country, they have to take responsibility.”

Jealous specifically pointed to signs at rallies portraying President Obama as a witch doctor, and to claims made by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., that Tea Party protesters opposing health care reform hurled racial slurs at them according to an online news post from ABC.

“They need to be unequivocal and they need to be responsible and get the bigots out of their organization. It’s that simple,” Jealous added.

Tea Party leaders have denied allegations of racism and argue that there is no proof to support the NAACP’s claims. Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart even offered $100,000 to anyone who could produce an audio recording or video footage of the “N-word” being hurled at Rep. Lewis and other members of Congress.

The St. Louis Tea Party coalition passed a resolution of its own condemning the NAACP for “hypocritically engaging in the very conduct it purports to oppose.” The resolution calls on the NAACP to withdraw its resolution. It even urges the IRS to reconsider its tax-exempt status of the NAACP because of what the Tea Party coalition dubbed the organization’s “habitual partisan political behavior.”

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin also weighed on the issue and stepped in to protect the Tea Party’s integrity.

“The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is  a regressive and diversionary tactic,” according to a statement Sarah Palin on Facebook. As a result she has asked Barack Obama to “refudiate” such racist claims.

Organizer of the Tea Party Express Mark Williams discredited the NAACP and accused them of being racist themselves. He also went as far as to write a satirical letter on a blog post that ridiculed the NAACP.

It was purportedly written to Abraham Lincoln by “colored people,” saying in part: “We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!”

Williams meant to make a satirical point but the letter was deemed  offensive because it made sweeping generalizations that African-Americans are lazy and ignorant. As a result,  Williams was expelled from the National Tea Party Federation led by Co-Founder of the New York City Tea Party David Webb. However, Webb stated the letter was offensive but not racist.

Webb also stated NAACP’s claims are agenda based and that the Tea Party can not be responsible for all its members’ beliefs.

“I think the NAACP in its march toward irrelevancy as an organization, needs an enemy to maintain its power base,” Webb said.

Webb was then asked about the signs and posters that compared Barack Obama to monkeys and brandish the N-word in several Tea Party rallies.

“They are offensive, they don’t belong there but there will also be fringe elements,” Webb said on CNN before he expelled Williams from the National Tea Party Federation on July 18, 2010.

In all fairness to the Tea Party I haven’t actually seen signs from protesters that have specifically used the N-word. In addition there have been no video or audio showing Tea Party members hurling the N-word at John Lewis. In truth I haven’t seen much enthusiasm from the NAACP to battle the racist statements from the New Black Panther Party to “kill crackers and their white babies,” so the NAACP could be guilty of partisan claims.

As a result, everybody organization needs to fold up their sleeves and take responsibility. The NAACP should also go to all lengths to condemn all acts of racism not only when it affects African-Americans. There have been too many instances where they get criticized for a selective bashing of racism and that is racist in a sense.

In addition just because Tea Party leaders say they haven’t witnessed any racial elements within their groups does not make it dismissible.  The fact is there have been signs that have racial slurs and ignorant messages. Some include “Send Obama back to Kenya,”  “Obama’s Plan: White Slavery” and “The American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama’s ovens,”

Note, the Tea Party is not a racist movement but I believe the Tea Party is more at fault. The fact is there are racist elements within the Tea Party, and all Tea Party leaders should address that. Like it or not the Tea Party has moved from a grassroots movement to a notable and well respected organization and they have a social responsibility to maintain a positive image. It would be in their bests interests to take such action if they want to have a strong influence in the upcoming elections in November. If they want to get back to the important issues involving health care and limited government they need to deal with the internal problems that they are having. Who will take them seriously when they have bigots among themselves putting up extreme posters that compare Barack Obama to a monkey and make threats to hang congress members? Personally, I don’t think they have heard of the saying one bad apple spoils the bunch.

Yevgenii Chernyaev, captain of a Mir-2 manned deepwater submersible vehicle, thinks his crafts could help battle the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Russian sub vessels to Cap Oil Spill

A Russian captain claims his two sub vessels could help cap the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico but no one seems to be on-board with the idea.

“Our subs are unique,” Yevgenii Chernyaev told a BBC science correspondent. “There are two of them, and they can submerge and work simultaneously. Also, they are powerful enough to work with any other additional equipment.”

Both subs, he said, can dive to 19,685 feet, or 3.7 miles. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig is about 5,000 feet below the surface.

Nikolai Ryutin and Yevgenii Chernyaev, captain of one of these Mir-2 manned deep-water submersible vehicles, thinks they could help battle the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The skipper said that he and his team have discussed the gulf problem many times and that the Russians were ready to pitch in.

But he said such an operation would work only if BP or the Obama administration invited the Russians to try to stop the leak. “It should all be decided on the government level,” he said.

Chernyaev conceded that the Russians would need to work with other international specialists to make an impact. “We would not refuse to help, even though for us it would be very complicated.”

He added, “But it doesn’t look like anyone seriously wants our help.”

According to AOL,  U.S. Coast Guard have not answered the Russians or been available for comment. The way I see it, I don’t think the U.S. would particularly favor help from the Russians.

The BP oil spill is a national problem and any foreign help especially to the United States would make BP and President Barack Obama’s handling of the situation look incompetent and incapable (If it wasn’t already). So Maybe, BP feels it has to redeem its image and social responsibility by fixing the catastrophe at the Gulf of Mexico.

In fairness, BP has managed to control the leak 5,000 ft below the Gulf of Mexico’s surface. Their underwater robots sheared off part of the riser pipe and placed a containment cap over the leak, diverting up to 15,ooo bbl. of oil a day according to Time magazine’s June 21, 2010 issue.

President Obama is also trying to answer his critics, showing that he is dealing with the crisis by talking to experts so he knows “whose ass to kick.”

Well BP and Obama are taking actions but should consider all options in cleaning up the mess. If Russia wants to assist with the problem with their submarines, why not give it a shot?