Posts Tagged ‘barack obama’

If Obama wins in 2008…

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

In 2008, Focus on the Family sent out an article describing what would happen if Obama was elected. It was presented as a “Letter from 2012″, a warning from the future of what those 4 years would yield. They made 37 predictions and zero of them came true. has a thorough walk-through of the document, if you’re interested. My favorite part of the Focus on the Family letter was the prediction that “Conservative talk radio, for all intents and purposes, was shut down by the end of 2010.” Ha!

Unsurprisingly, there’s no retraction or apology to go along with this. The same old scare tactics still work with the base, despite a four-year record. The vastly different ways in which people view Obama’s presidency is really stunning to me. I think it’s largely an issue of priming: if you think he’s a Kenyan leftist radical to begin with, you’ll view things through that prism and cherry-pick your facts from dubious sources.

This is a president who passed one of the largest tax cuts in decades (1/3 of the stimulus bill was tax cuts… a measure that garnered exactly zero republican votes). His health care bill is derived from those of Mitt Romney and Bob Dole. He has increased drone warfare dramatically (you know how liberals love those!). The public sector lost 600,000 jobs under Obama. The fact that so many people consider him such an unrecognizable shift from the status quo is really stunning to me.

What is Obamacare?

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Reddit has the best distillation of the ACA (obamacare) that I’ve read. Based upon other things I’ve seen, this is quite accurate and well-sourced.

The legislation is not simple, but it’s much easier to discuss now that there aren’t 10 different variations on the plan floating around like there were before it passed. Distillations of this as “socialized medicine” don’t seem apt from my understanding of the bill. It does increase regulation and governmental control, but it is still distributing medicine largely through market mechanisms.

Also, some things in that summary left me thinking “wait, that’s not already the law?!”, such as “Insurers can’t just drop customers once they get sick.”

Least Ridiculous Thing of the Day

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

“What he has achieved in his 48 years is simply astounding. Consider the odds. The United States is a nation of more than 300 million citizens. Only one person is currently the Commander in Chief. That man had no fatherly guidance, is of mixed race, and had no family connections to guide him into the world of national politics. That adds up to one simple truth that every American child should be told: ‘If Barack Obama can become the President of the United States, then whatever dream you may have can happen in your life,”

–Bill O’Reilly (src)

Indeed. I still enjoy this portrayal, though:

“Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by”

–Karl Rove (src)

John Hodgman at Radio & TV Correspondents’ Dinner

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

John Hodgman gave a great 14-minute speech, framing the world into jocks vs. nerds and poking fun at the President. Enjoy:

Obama’s statements on Iran

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Here it is, worth a listen:

I think this was just about perfect: any intervention from the US will help Ahmadinejad, so it’s especially important that we leave the politics to Iran. On the other hand, politics aside, it’s important to speak out against the violence against peaceful assemblies.


Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Reihan Salam reads a Pew poll:

“of voters who approve of Obama’s job performance, 7 percent believe that he’s a Muslim”


Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

Obama’s pledge to cut $100M from the budget is certainly theater… I’m glad he’s at least talking about it, but in the grand scheme of things this is meaningless. Here’s a video illustration of how little money that is:

Blowing Smoke

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

When the Obama administration allowed internet users to submit and vote on questions, for the President, several questions about marijuana legalization were voted to the top. While I think it’s clear that these aren’t the most important questions to be answered, I think that they’re legitimate. This was Obama’s response:

First of all, he said “ranked fairly high”, when it was ranked #1. Second, Obama’s tone here is dismissive and condescending. The worst part, in my mind, is that he doesn’t really seem to offer any reasoning about the issue, there’s really no attempt.

This is even more apparent in a subsequent exchange between Gibbs and the press corps:

When Gibbs was asked for the reasons for Obama’s opposition, he replies with:

“he opposes it, he doesn’t think that that’s the, the right plan for America.”

Wow, that didn’t come close to answering the question.

Why do I care? I don’t really have a desire to start smoking or anything, but this interests me as a political issue. It’s politically difficult for politicians to come out in favor of ending prohibition, but nobody seems to be able to come up with a coherent, science-based reason why cigarettes and alcohol are legal but marijuana is not. That’s what bothers me most about this: this is not the bold pragmatism and reason-based decisioning I had hoped for. There are many far more important issues, of course, but still, they’re not even trying on this one.

Here’s my position on the issue itself (at 3:15am):
Marijuana should not be legalized to increase tax revenue. Marijuana should be legalized because the default status for a substance is ‘legal’, and there is insufficient evidence that it is so dangerous that citizens should be stripped of the right to use it. The prohibition policy has been a failure: marijuana is no less available today than it was a decade or two ago, the costs of enforcement are significant, and it provides an income to criminals. Marijuana is less addictive and unhealthy than cigarettes and alcohol, and society seems to be quite comfortable with those being legal and regulated. As The Economist put it: “legalization is the least bad solution” (quote edited for Britishness).

Obama’s Address to Congress

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

I finally got a chance to watch President Obama’s address to Congress. It was a great speech with hugely ambitious goals. The hard part is making it happen and making it work. Two parts of the speech struck me. First was the time he spent explaining how problems in the financial markets affect the lives of regular people. This question gets brought up and it’s an important one to answer. I think he did a pretty good job in this area. (It’s also a question Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin during the campaign.) Second, I liked his use of the bully pulpit to call upon people to better their education. His call to action really felt authentic and it’s a hugely important issue.

FactCheck caught a bunch of the inaccuracies in the speech, it’s worth a read. His claim that Americans invented the car and solar panel are both a far stretch, at best, though it’s hard to pin down an individual inventor for either. A bit of rephrasing probably could have pointed at Ford’s car manufacturing methods instead of the invention of the car itself.

I still hate watching people applaud, though, the whole thing seems so phony.

The Al Arabiya interview

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Obama’s first TV interview as President was with Al Arabiya. The full video is below. CBS News has a full transcript.

Part 1:

Part 2:

I really liked the tone of the interview. One of the more important parts of the interview was when Obama said:

“In my inauguration speech, I spoke about: You will be judged on what you’ve built, not what you’ve destroyed. And what [Al Qaeda has] been doing is destroying things. And over time, I think the Muslim world has recognized that that path is leading no place, except more death and destruction.

Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries. […] And so what I want to communicate is the fact that in all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I’ve come to understand is that regardless of your faith – and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers – regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams.

And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.

But ultimately, people are going to judge me not by my words but by my actions and my administration’s actions. And I think that what you will see over the next several years is that I’m not going to agree with everything that some Muslim leader may say, or what’s on a television station in the Arab world – but I think that what you’ll see is somebody who is listening, who is respectful, and who is trying to promote the interests not just of the United States, but also ordinary people who right now are suffering from poverty and a lack of opportunity. I want to make sure that I’m speaking to them, as well. “

On The Media interviewed Al Arabiya’s Washington bureau chief, Hisham Melham about the Obama interview, as well as the reaction it received in the Arab world.