Like many around the world I was surprised to hear the news that President Obama was named this year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. But unlike the President’s unrelenting critics, I was pleasantly surprised.
But I do think it’s worth noting that many of the President’s supporters, indeed the President himself, joined Obama’s critics in saying that the honor was not deserved. In my view, they are all missing the point. What the Nobel committee’s decision recognizes is that the world changed on November 4, 2008. The rest of the world never thought we would elect a one term black Senator in his 40s. Given our history of racial and ethnic discrimination, they didn’t believe we had it in us.
Most Americans still don’t fully understand the level of disregard and disgust that the rest of the world viewed America prior to President Obama’s election. Almost overnight, in one November day, that hatred dissipated. In its place, the world began to take a second look at the U.S. and Americans.
In my view, when we elected President Obama we sent the signal to the rest of the world that America was pressing the pause button on the trajectory that President Bush had our country on. We said to the world we want a new direction. And most importantly, we confounded those who hate our country, who never thought we would elect the candidate who called for an end to the war in Iraq and an end to the prison in Guantanamo.
But now, with this Nobel prize, the awards committee is laying down a challenge to the President and to our country. Make good on your promises. Use your potential. Do the good things you have in you.
Some say this decision to give the President the Nobel Peace Prize was a mistake. Perhaps. But not if it spurs the President to use his extraordinary leadership and communications skills to lead the U.S. and the world to a more peaceful coexistence.
Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. carried 70% of the vote in his last election.
This morning, President Obama announced that he intends to nominate Utah’s Republican Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. to be our Ambassador to China. Huntsman is a moderate Republican, at least by Utah’s standards, and he served as the Deputy Trade Representative under President George W. Bush and as Ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and he served as the national co-chairman of Sen. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. Continue reading
Check out this editorial in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star praising GOP Rep. Eric Cantor and his support for bringing high speed rail to Fredericksburg, Va. Do the writers of the editorial and Congressman Cantor believe the people of Fredericksburg are that stupid? Continue reading
Let me get this straight. In 2001 when he left office, President Bill Clinton left President George W. Bush and a Republican Congress budget surpluses as far as the eye could see. Then the GOP racks up huge budget deficits and runs our economy into a ditch with corporate tax loopholes, tax cuts for the richest among us and a war in Iraq waged because of lies about WMD or faulty intelligence — pick your poison. Continue reading
Today I paid my taxes. (I’m old fashioned — I still believe in that.)
I like that through our government we fund highways, law enforcement, firefighters, teachers, parks, the arts, care for the elderly, the poor, programs for kids — see Head Start, heating oil for the poor, veterans benefits, school lunches and breakfasts for poor kids, the military — especially snipers that kill pirates, Social Security, student loans, farm loans, home loans, entities which regulate drugs, food, financial services, banks, insurance — we need more of that, not less, scientific research, housing for the homeless and poor, among other things.
As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization.” Continue reading
The New York Times has a front page story on the next important decision President Obama will make: where to go to church for Easter Sunday.
In a briefing for reporters on Friday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed that President Obama and his family will be attending services at a Washington, D.C. area church tomorrow, but he wouldn’t say where. The Obamas last attended services on the Sunday before the inauguration, choosing to visit Washington’s Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, which incidentally is on 16th St., N.W.
Personally, I don’t care where the President worships God, or for that matter, if he worships God. What’s more important to me is that the President uphold the Constitutional principle of the separation of Church and state. Continue reading
My muse, Nancy Pfotenhauer is back on TV shilling for the Republicans. Despite fantastic job approval ratings for President Obama, Nancy is claiming that the President is considered by Pew Research to be one of the, “most polarizing presidents in recent history”.
That’s not exactly what the study actually says. If you read it, the study explains that the President lacks support from Republicans but enjoys strong support from independants and Democrats. It says, “for all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades.”
In other words, the President hasn’t yet won over Republicans who voted for John McCain. But Nancy and the GOP would have you believe that no one likes Obama.
I’ve got more on that on my YouTube channel.
But for now, I wanted to be sure you saw this very clever video just released by the Democratic Party of Virginia. It very effectively lays out what Bob McDonnell and the GOP are up to: more of the same divisive politics that I am sick of and Nancy specializes in. Check it out.