…especially when it comes to smear campaigns by wing nuts on health care reforms and hundred other initiatives that the Obama government has undertaken since assuming office. It is quite unfortunate that Obama’s honest attempt to take a middle ground in all issues has left with him with less supporters on the left, which I thought was his passionate political base for his 2008 elections. Anyway, he still has 2 years to decide if he wants to continue to take the middle ground and get smeared by the Right wingers anyways..or choose a more radical (radical for American presidents as they all tend to be extremely conservative in their policies no matter where they stand on issues at a personal level).
This video puts things in perspective in case you have no clue what the new reform is all about – Honestly, I learned quite a bit from this video as like most of you, even I haven’t had a chance to read 1000s of pages of this bill.
And clearly this video is as objective as it can be – doesn’t take any political stand.
Ha..Gotcha..! This is not about brackets or who is in final 4 and all that ‘hoop’la. This is just a recap of what the POTUS – Obama did in March, 2010 and may be you will agree that it was indeed Madness, in a good way.
Health Care Reform – ✔
Nuclear arms pact with Russia – ✔
An unusual, yet an all important meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu (who was the first International leader who thought & foolishly assumed that he could push his way and agenda through a young, juvenile President Obama, but went back home with an apparent stick) – ✔
Education Reform – ✔
Offshore Drilling along the coast – ✔
Sudden trip to Afghanistan to meet with the troops and also to convey a tough message to Karzai – ✔
Collaborative message to Iran along with France – ✔
And….a few more..Oops did I miss his bracket selection, white house seder, etc.?
I say it was a BDF for Obama to have finally trampled over his adversaries in the only way he could.
The longer we get to experience Obama presidency, the more I am able to appreciate his political acumen. The progressive liberal in me always wants him to do things that are radically progressive. Radical by any measure that the country has not seen. But the more pragmatic me is sort of waiting and watching the events unfold as policy after policy, the Obama administration is making its plays much like a Chess game.
I am not impressed with the administration on all matters. But again the pragmatist in me is sort of wondering if there is any better way to do handle each of this issue or approach a particular problem, than how Obama has already done. Let me start listing…I am being very objective in my analysis.
- Stimulus for Financial Institutions – In a capitalist economy, what else could have been done? As much as the stimulus sounded like socialist measure for most critics, I thought it was an extension of the capitalistic values (as much I personally disagree with them). To me this was the best any President could have done, specially since there is no proof yet as to what would have happened had nothing been done or if the institutions were simply punished.
- Stimulus for Auto companies – This was sort of a 50-50 in my mind. Being from Michigan, I am not disappointed with the fact that GM and Chrysler are surviving yet, but the government went too much out of its way to help bail them out. So not impressed with this policy and even though I can’t list what could have been done differently, I have read expert opinions on workable alternatives, which I believed would have helped the country.
- Health Care – I think this was a masterstroke..though initially my reaction was more based out of the liberal views inside. He is going to have some reform done – No matter what and that is a success to his presidency whichever way you look at it. In the end, he let the senators and congressmen make their choices by being passively aggressive.
- Education – He has had some luxury here without being painted a socialist. So full marks so far.
- Climate Change – Not too happy here. Even though the restrained approach can be argued, I would give him 50% because the administration has had more than one opportunity so far to push its agenda more aggressively, which they haven’t done, even passively.
- Finally War – To all the Obama supporters, remember his campaign was based on the platform that he will get out of Iraq but will focus on Afghan and fight it out till terrorism is wiped out there. He is doing exactly that. So I don’t understand the disappointment among his supporters. If one thing, this new policy has sort of caught the hardcore GOP conservatives red faced because they have very little to attack him on (of course they have already found ways to do that). So I am impressed…
First there was sun and then there was light. Once there was light, then there was life..First there was air and then there was fire. Once there was fire, then there was food. Where am I going with this? If you find that thought excruciating, then the tussle that is still on in the Capitol should have your hair in splits. I find the lack of progress on the current health care reform equally and more excruciating, albeit, the debate itself is increasingly becoming a joke.
Isn’t it ginger awfully painful to see politicians not use their common sense and have politics dictate how many people should have control over their death in this supposedly the most advanced country in the world?
Firstly, why do Democrats need to worry about getting a single Republican vote? Oh..yeah, because of the blue dogs. But they have become irrelevant now with the Max Baucus plan that is being smothered around across the aisle. And What is President Obama’s strategy? I feel he has got some kind of a very strong inner will to get it done but he is trying to operate in a pragmatic way.
I hope his inner strength helps us escape from this land of barbed fences that is “ticklingly” funny!
The Global Peace price awarded by the Nobel committee has always been controversial in the sense, the winner is not always accepted by the fellow nominees’ supporters. Reason simply told, measuring global peace is not as quantitative and tangible as measuring a Chemistry invention or an Agricultural innovation. “Peace” itself has been interpreted differently across the world and will continue to be so. Given that, there have been several “peace” activists who have done their part in the past and probably never got picked by the Nobel committee. This does and should not make the winners picked by the Nobel committee any less deserving or accomplished.
Even with the above background, which is being put into perspective and being highlighted with a red marker in the last couple of days, it was surprising to see President Obama getting the honor for this year. Of course, like everyone else, my first reaction was “Who?” and “For what?”. I reserved my comments for a couple of days and was sort of trying to understand the rationale. After all, no other Nobel announcement in my recent memory had stirred this much of a surprise. Everyone, including the committee members agree that Obama does not have any quantitative proof of his global peace initiatives that can be compared with some of the past Peace prize winners. So, here is my take on the prize after trying to understand the rationale and after trying to put things in perspective.
There is a way the Americans view the world through their peephole. I live in the US and I sort of understand that view even though I don’t often use the same peephole to view the world. And the rest of the world views America through a different peephole and the world through a different peephole. So, the difference between an American view of the world is very (entirely contrasting to be honest) different from someone else’s from another country. This makes it difficult for someone who is either far left in the US or far right in the US, to sum up global accomplishments of President Obama in an objective manner. Which is why, the committee’s rationale, in spite of it sounding a little strategic and futuristic as opposed to sounding past, may be hard to be understood. I feel the bottom line behind their choice this year is the amount of goodwill one person has been able earn around the world with his message. I don’t think any single individual has been able to generate this kind of goodwill around the globe through his message of Hope and Change. And may be, that summarizes the rationale. This honor certainly is going to bring more burden to Obama than pride. This may be good in its own way. Because, any future action/decision of his presidency will always bear the shadow of this honor.
And that may be more than what the world wants in these hard times we live in across the globe for peace.
Congrats Mr. President! Without trying to figure out whether you deserve it not, we hope that you will try to live up to the expectations that such an award brings on you.
Keeping up with his reputation of being a master of playing his cards effectively, mostly to the effect quite contrary in the minds of his opponents, President Obama, is proving why the US foreign policies may after all win larger hearts around the world, eventually. The latest in his act being his reaction to Iran’s revelation of its 2nd nuclear site. This comes just a week after he successfully planted himself softly in Kremlin,by calling off the Eastern Europe missile shield program. Putin may be running out of too many options left inside his fort, to show why he is angry with the US.
So in this scenario, the situation should be treated positively by political pundits. Right? Of course not. In spite of seeing clear evidence of the whole world warming up towards the US, why are the Republicans so damn annoyed with Obama’s style? Of course, we know the answer. It really is a rhetorical question. They are afraid and at the same time, absolutely paranoid. The Republican way of thinking is to plant fear in people’s minds. Always. Surprisingly, it has worked every time. And their strategy seems to be making a dent in the American psyche yet again..what with all the tea baggers, birthers and other such groups slowly rising. I have a feeling that they are just a bunch KKK activists disguised in other names and reemerging as one of the above groups.
Amidst all these, what is the state of Ahmadinejad? He is in a delusional state and if that is really the case, then he is pushing his country into a bigger danger and dragging them to a tipping point.
Obama gets the honor to do the opening pitch at an All Star Game and as much he gave the ball too much trajectory, mind me, I am not a baseball expert, the curve was a little too much and certainly seemed nervous. I can understand that because, you are the President and this could very well turn out to be your crucification if you actually threw the ball into the dirt…(No – I am not being funny, because this country can derail politicians for some weird reasons). So, he lobs it and I would say the pitch ended up being fine & dandy. The fascinating part was how people viewed it so differently across political spectrums. Yes – I mean political spectrums. That’s how divisive this country is. Fox News trashed his pitching. Agreed, it was not as good how effortless Mr. W used to do..! But, what happened to sensible reporting – even if you want to be biased?
Sotomayor goes through a process of what in layman terms seems like “ragging”. I admire the democratic nature of the process and all..But who really cares if the process ends up being Republicans making use of the opportunity to bring out their political agenda and asking her why they think she is the next worst thing to Karl Marx? Again a classic example of a senseless process aimed at politicizing issues.
The past week has been pretty much a mixed bag. From trying to get used to a non-travel routine after almost 6 months, settling down into a new office with a great window (albeit only facing a parking lot) and mitigating & resolving issues/risks from a client post-go-live situation, I think as much I would like to think it was a stress free week, it was not. Weather is close to its best here in this part of the country. The challenges of a change in routine are enormous. Even if it seems like going from a more difficult routine to a relatively easier one. It can make you lose your sensibility.
When he starts speaking, it can be addictive. Why be ambivalent? It is addictive for me. I was ready to go, Shoes polished, Garage door opened, Dishes in the sink, Bags & office accessories on the aisle – and then..I just stood frozen, glaring at the TV not willing to power it off, though that was the primal intention behind picking up the remote control.
Took me about 5 minutes to realize that it is because of this man who started delivering yet another wonderful speech to a global audience (more specifically French, German and other European) in a town hall setting, was doing such a remarkable job that his words flew out of his mouth like pollen dust in spring. Yes..you have no choice but to catch them because they are in the air and not falling off to the ground that easily. And not to mention, the charm he can hoist on his fans all over the world! Entire Europe warmed up to this man..
Oops. I have a serious addiction problem.
Of course, the real reason for his trip was to talk about recession with 19 other leaders. Apparently, he did an exceptionally good job by being the smooth moderator, by bringing enemies together to the negotiation corner and by even speaking Russian, Arabic and some other languages (don’t think Hindi was one of them). G-20 summit seemed like a good opportunity for all leaders to get together and put faces to names so that they can continue their dialogue through their diplomats later. I really hope they got something out of it.
iPod song selection, touching the queen, sleeveless dress and whatever else the tabloid love is, I believe it is only those who envy the charm of this man and his woman, who will deny that the President of the USA and the First lady were a success in Europe.
Sometimes, it is hard to express what you feel and how you feel about certain things. Today is one such day. Specially after having traveled through a journey that no one ever imagined, Barack Obama ascends the throne, realizing the dreams of many, many millions of people – those who a few decades ago, were not given the right to vote.
And I am happy I was one of the millions of supporters this man had as he went from pillar to post during his campaign to make it this far. He still has his head over his shoulders and seems very balanced. And I can’t wait to hear his Inaugural Address.
For what it is worth, the day is Historic – Whether you are with Obama or not!
Mr. President, Congratulations and Best Wishes!
Really. That’s what is going on everywhere..Right?
The Government is in Transition. The Outgoing on its way to Texas and the Incoming on its way From Chicago.
The American Auto Industry is in Transition. Some on their way for a Bailout and Some on their way to being Bankrupt.
The climate in this part of the country is in Transition. Snow and Ice on their way in. Heat and Warmth on their way out.
The calendar is in Transition. 2008 on its way out..and 2009 on its way in.
The Superpowers are in Transition. USA on its way out. China and others on their way in.
Transition is a good thing. Gives you an opportunity to look forward to something different and be excited about it…(of course the cold weather could be an exception)!! But trying to derive some positive essence out of any transition is the key to optimism.
Why am I rambling about Optimism? Because…I like to be Optimistic.