Category Archives: President Barack Obama

End the Crisis in Gaza

By David Gibson and Dr. Janet Amighi,
7/20/14

While Israel claims it is under threat, its own actions and policies are actually the driving force of Palestinian resistance.  It is most extreme in Gaza.

Gaza is kept shut off by land, sea and air from the rest of the world and even from their relatives in the West Bank. They cannot export their products or import needed supplies to rebuild after each Israeli incursion or bombing. They are locked in an overcrowded prison with undrinkable water and worse and then condemned as terrorists if they protest.  Gaza is permanently under siege- who can live like that?

Now as Israel attacks, Gazans run terrorized in the streets or cower in their homes with nowhere to flee. (Warning leaflets dropped from the air have no use when there is no place to evacuate to.) They have no shelters, they cannot become refugees. They can’t even get ambulances through to collect the wounded and the many dead. Even on the beach a group of boys are not safe.  They are trapped victims of an unbelievable horror. No one comes to their aid.

What is the cause of this brutal attack?  Israel says it is self-defense, against rockets, against kidnappers, against tunnels.  Palestinian leaders in Gaza say they will not accept a ceasefire until the blockade is lifted, that they will not stop resisting until they can lead tolerable lives.

According to Nathan Thrall writing in the New York Times, the trigger of this most recent Israeli attack against Gaza was the Reconciliation Agreement under which Hamas agreed to turn over leadership of Gaza to President Abbas and his Fattah party and create a unity government.  The West at first supported this move, but Israel resisted and her allies fell into line. Thrall calls it, “Gaza and Israel: The Road to War, Paved by the West, (July 17, 2014).  He claims that Israel is trying to preserve the status quo- keeping control over Palestinian land, water, and lives.

The US is Israeli’s willing ally to the tune of 3 billion dollars a year in military aid, not because it is in our national interest, but because our politicians are afraid to confront right wing actions by the Israeli government.

The United States can help save both Israeli and Palestinian lives by demanding a lasting ceasefire, lifting the blockade on Gaza, ending U.S. military aid to Israel (or at least withholding such aid until a ceasefire begins and lasts for, say six months), hold all sides accountable for human rights violations, and engage with all Palestinian factions (including Hamas).

Peace, Shalom, and Salam to all

Please take action for peace in Palestine and Israel.

Call the White House comment line:

202.456.1111

Demand a ceasefire and suspension of U.S.  weapons and military aid to Israel.

To call your Member of Congress:

US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

To locate your Member on-line:
U.S. House of Representatives: www.house.gov
U.S. Senate: www.senate.gov

White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Demand a ceasefire and suspension of U.S. weapons and military aid to Israel.

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Dear Mr. President

Dear President Obama,

I am not in the mood to have you negotiate ANYTHING with this Congress especially the expiration of the Bush tax cuts to the rich. I am sick and tired of footing the bill for the rich people and getting little in return. I wanted a single payer health care plan or at least a public option and you dropped the ball on that one by caving into the Republicans temper tantrums. Instead, I got a watered down health care bill that won’t fully go into effect until 2014 which gives the insurance companies plenty of time to double and triple my current premiums. I wanted real Wall Street reform. Instead, I got weak financial reform because Wall Street took precedent over Main Street. Having said that, you probably still want me to vote for you and the weak Democrats in 2012. You need to convince me that YOU can do better than negotiating with greedy Republicans. You need to take control of the agenda. If you want my vote, then you need to earn it. I’m getting tired of footing the bill and getting nothing in return. I wouldn’t return to a restaurant that gave me poor service and bad food and I won’t vote for politicians that give me bad service and bad bills.

America Will Triumph

Had to share this article from Frank Schaeffer. Pennsylvania For Change still supports our President. No sniping here.

Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times best selling author.

Obama Will Triumph — So Will America
By Frank Schaeffer

Before he’d served even one year President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds — including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious right wing agitator, now progressive writer and (given my background as the son of a famous (evangelical leader) this unlikely Obama supporter — are sticking with our President. Why?– because he is succeeding.

We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us. Obama’s steady supporters will be proved right. Obama’s critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst.

The Context of the Obama Presidency

Not since the days of the rise of fascism in Europe , the Second World War and the Depression has any president faced more adversity. Not since the Civil War has any president led a more bitterly divided country. Not since the introduction of racial integration has any president faced a more consistently short-sighted and willfully ignorant opposition – from both the right and left. As the President’s poll numbers have fallen so has his support from some on the left that were hailing him as a Messiah not long ago; all those lefty websites and commentators that were falling all over themselves on behalf of our first black president during the 2008 election. The left’s lack of faith has become a self-fulfilling “prophecy”– snipe at the President and then watch the poll numbers fall and then pretend you didn’t have anything to do with it!

Here is what Obama faced when he took office–none of which was his fault:

  • An ideologically divided country to the point that America was really two countries
  • Two wars; one that was mishandled from the start, the other that was unnecessary and immoral
  • The worst economic crisis since the depression
  • America ‘s standing in the world at the lowest point in history/li>
  • A country that had been misled into accepting the use of torture of prisoners of war
  • A health care system in free fall
  • An educational system in free fall
  • A global environmental crisis of history-altering proportions (about which the Bush administration and the Republicans had done nothing)
  • An impasse between culture warriors from the right and left
  • A huge financial deficit inherited from the terminally irresponsible Bush administration.

And those were only some of the problems sitting on the President’s desk!

“Help” from the Right?

What did the Republicans and the religious right, libertarians and half-baked conspiracy theorists — that is what the Republicans were reduced to by the time Obama took office — do to “help” our new president (and our country) succeed? They claimed that he wasn’t a real American, didn’t have an American birth certificate, wasn’t born here, was secretly a Muslim, was white-hating “racist”, was secretly a communist, was actually the Anti-Christ, (!) and was a reincarnation of Hitler and wanted “death panels” to kill the elderly!

They not-so-subtly called for his assassination through the not-so-subtle use of vile signs held at their rallies and even a bumper sticker quoting Psalm 109:8. They organized “tea parties” to sound off against imagined insults and all government in general and gathered to howl at the moon. They were led by insurance industry lobbyists and deranged (but well financed) “commentators” from Glenn Beck to Rush Limbaugh.

The utterly discredited Roman Catholic bishops teamed up with the utterly discredited evangelical leaders to denounce a president who was trying to actually do something about the poor, the environment, to diminish the number of abortions through compassionate programs to help women and to care for the sick! And in Congress the Republican leadership only knew one word: “No!”

In other words the reactionary white, rube, uneducated, crazy American far right,combined with the educated but obtuse neoconservative war mongers, religious right shills for big business, libertarian Fed Reserve-hating gold bug, gun-loving crazies, child-molesting acquiescent “bishops”, frontier loons and evangelical gay-hating flakes found one thing to briefly unite them: their desire to stop an uppity black man from succeeding at all costs!

“Help” from the Left?

What did the left do to help their newly elected president? Some of them excoriated the President because they disagreed with the bad choices he was being forced to make regarding a war in Afghanistan that he’d inherited from the worst president in modern history! Others stood up and bravely proclaimed that the President’s economic policies had “failed” before the President even instituted them! Others said that since all gay rights battles had not been fully won within virtually minutes of the President taking office, they’d been “betrayed”! (Never mind that Obama’s vocal support to the gay community is stronger than any other president’s has been. Never mind that he signed a new hate crimes law!)

Those that had stood in transfixed legions weeping with beatific emotion on election night turned into an angry mob saying how “disappointed” they were that they’d not all immediately been translated to heaven the moment Obama stepped into the White House! Where was the “change”? Contrary to their expectations they were still mere mortals! And the legion of young new supporters was too busy texting to pay attention for longer than a nanosecond. “Governing”?! What the hell does that word, uh, like mean?”

The President’s critics left and right all had one thing in common: impatience laced with little-to-no sense of history (let alone reality) thrown in for good measure. Then of course there were the white, snide know-it-all commentators/talking heads who just couldn’t imagine that maybe, just maybe they weren’t as smart as they thought they were and certainly not as smart as their president. He hadn’t consulted them, had he? So he must be wrong! The Obama critics’ ideological ideas defined their idea of reality rather than reality defining their ideas-say, about what is possible in one year in office after the hand that the President had been dealt by fate, or to be exact by the American idiot nation that voted Bush into office. twice!

Meanwhile back in the reality-based community – in just 12 short months — President Obama:

  • Thoughtfully and decisively picked the best of several bad choices regarding the war in Afghanistan (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Gave a major precedent-setting speech supporting gay rights (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Restored America ‘s image around the globe (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Banned torture of American prisoners (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Stopped the free fall of the American economy (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Put the USA squarely back in the bilateral international community (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Put the USA squarely into the middle of the international effort to halt global warming (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Stood up for educational reform (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Won a Nobel peace prize (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Moved the trial of terrorists back into the American judicial system of checks and balances (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Did what had to be done to start the slow, torturous and almost impossible process of health care reform that 7 presidents had failed to even begin (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Responded to hatred from the right and left with measured good humor and patience (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Stopped the free fall of job losses (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Showed immense personal courage in the face of an armed and dangerous far right opposition that included the sort of disgusting people that show up at public meetings carrying loaded weapons and carrying Timothy McVeigh-inspired signs about the “blood of tyrants” needing to “water the tree of liberty”. (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
  • Showed that he could not only make the tough military choices but explain and defend them brilliantly (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Other than those “disappointing” accomplishments — IN ONE YEAR — President Obama “failed”! Other than that he didn’t “live up to expectations”!

Who actually has failed…..are the Americans that can’t see the beginning of a miracle of national rebirth right under their jaded noses. Who failed are the smart ass ideologues of the left and right who began rooting for this President to fail so that they could be proved right in their dire and morbid predictions. Who failed are the movers and shakers behind our obscenely dumb news cycles that have turned “news” into just more stupid entertainment for an entertainment-besotted infantile country.

Here’s the good news: President Obama is succeeding without the help of his lefty “supporters” or hate-filled Republican detractors!

The Future Looks Good. After Obama has served two full terms, (and he will), after his wisdom in moving deliberately and cautiously with great subtlety on all fronts — with a canny and calculating eye to the possible succeeds, (it will), after the economy is booming and new industries are burgeoning, (they will be), after the doomsayers are all proved not just wrong but silly: let the record show that not all Americans were panicked into thinking the sky was falling. Just because we didn’t get everything we wanted in the first short and fraught year Obama was in office not all of us gave up. Some of us stayed the course. And we will be proved right.

PS. if you agree that Obama is shaping up to be a great president, please pass this on and hang in there! Pass it on anyway to ensure that his “report card” gets the attention it deserves.

HOPE

Pandora shut the box in time.  I still have hope and faith in our President.  The alternative to Barack Obama is not acceptable and would be dangerous to our health, wealth and safety.

Democracy Is Coming To The USA.  Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the GOPers need to come back to reality.  Barack Obama is our democratically elected President.

Cowards

The Democrats in Congress and our Democratic President are showing a lack of courage.  By removing the public option from health care reform, the Democrats are turning their backs on the majority of Americans that want and need a public option.  They are behaving like cowards by allowing the minority Republicans to determine our health care.  Without the public option, there is no health care reform.  It will be just the same old wine in a brand new bottle.

There is talk about non profit co-ops without any mention about who will manage these co-ops.  Small cooperatives will not have the power to negotiate lower prices like big insurance companies can so people will continue with high premiums and if the government subsidizes any of these, the government will be paying high prices just like it does now with the pharmaceutical companies under Medicare Part D.  These cooperatives are just another way of grabbing money from the government and the Republicans will trash the Democrats for not providing health care reform in 2010.

If the Democrats think that the screaming teabaggers are going to go away if the health care bill removes the public option, they are sadly mistaken.  The oil and coal lobbyists are ready working on the same plan of using screaming people to disrupt any changes in our energy policies due to climate change.

President Obama and Democrats in Congress:  show some courage, stand up for the majority of American people that want a public option and fight for us.  If you can’t fight for us, then I can no longer fight to get you elected.