Archive for October, 2009

Janet Ritz: What Is Patriotism?

Janet Ritz: What Is Patriotism?

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Missy the little stuff dog meets President Obama in New Orleans October 2009 for a Town Hall Meeting. She went all the way to Washington D.C. in January to try to see him and here he is in her own back yard. Her Washington D.C. trip is filmed also on You Tube.

YouTube Video I made when President Obama came to New Orleans for a Town Hall Meeting October 2009. I won the Ticket lottery for two tickets.
This is a homemade film. Yes, with all the motions of the camera shaking, fast movements, people in the way. But it will give the viewer a good sense of the excitement of the day, by me the camera person and by everyone there.

Going to see President Obama!!

The White House Called! I GOT TICKETS! Going to Town Hall Meeting to see President Obama Tomorrow/Thursday/10-15-09 in New Orleans. I am so Excited-Going Early to get good seats.

The Tough-Love Dictator of My Dreams

Very funny Article.

Social change may happen fast, but no one stops polluting unless an Indian cries on TV. My point isn’t that activists and advocates don’t shift the way we think; public opinion shifts in various ways, the prolonged explanation of each of which has made Malcolm Gladwell millions of dollars. My point is simply that, everything being equal, a dictator can make an Indian cry fastest.
And people love a good dictator — or at least get over their hatred of one pretty quickly — provided that the dictator doesn’t put up too many pictures of himself. We instinctively object to new forms of paternalism, but we also quickly accept them: laws requiring seat belts and motorcycle helmets, forced retirement savings through Social Security, waiting periods for marriage and gun licenses.

How Moses Shaped America

How Moses Shaped America
We are in the presence of a lot of Moseses,” Barack Obama said on March 4, 2007, three weeks after announcing his candidacy for President. He was speaking in Selma, Ala., surrounded by civil rights pioneers. Obama cast his run for the White House as a fulfillment of the Moses tradition of leading people out of bondage into freedom. “I thank the Moses generation, but we’ve got to remember that Joshua still had a job to do. As great as Moses was … he didn’t cross over the river to see the promised land.”Eight months into his presidency, Obama might want to give Moses a second look. On issues from health care to Afghanistan, the President faces doubts and rebellions, from an entrenched pharaonic establishment on one hand and restless, stiff-necked followers on the other. There’s good reason, then, for Obama to heed the leadership lessons of history’s greatest leader.

A Window On the War in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan is at a crossroads. President Obama will soon decide whether to commit more U.S. troops to a conflict that’s already on the verge of becoming the longest military action in American history–or perhaps begin to dial back our commitment there. It’s been more than eight years since the war began, and for much of that time, it was a conflict that took place at the margins of our awareness. First the quick fall of the Taliban regime made Afghanistan seem like a problem largely solved. Then the extended agony of the Iraq war drew all eyes in that direction. But the problem wasn’t solved, the Taliban insurgency sprang back to life, and now Afghanistan is a military and political conundrum: Is it in our national interest to double down, or is the conflict an impossible one that will only come to grief?

This Administration views the U.N., despite its flaws, as a useful vehicle in many instances to advance our interests,” Rice says. There are two diplomatic principles in that sentence: one, an acknowledgement of the U.N.’s weaknesses; the other, an assertion that the international organization is not irrelevant, as its critics insist.

Excerpts:I hate to write about this, but I have actually been to this play before and it is really disturbing.
The American political system was, as the saying goes, “designed by geniuses so it could be run by idiots.” But a cocktail of political and technological trends have converged in the last decade that are making it possible for the idiots of all political stripes to overwhelm and paralyze the genius of our system.
Those factors are: the wild excess of money in politics; the gerrymandering of political districts, making them permanently Republican or Democratic and erasing the political middle; a 24/7 cable news cycle that makes all politics a daily battle of tactics that overwhelm strategic thinking; and a blogosphere that at its best enriches our debates, adding new checks on the establishment, and at its worst coarsens our debates to a whole new level, giving a new power to anonymous slanderers to send lies around the world.

1 Oct 2009 // Last week, the House inadvertently took a large step forward in protecting taxpayers from misbehaving contractors. The House passed the “Student Aid” bill (H.R. 3221) that also included a ban on entities receiving any federal contracts or grants if they have “filed a fraudulent form with any Federal or State regulatory agency.” Although intended to restrict ACORN, a nationwide community support organization, the language could be interpreted to cover all federal contractors and grantees.POGO’s Federal Contractor Misconduct Database compiles instances of misconduct for the top contractors that have together received over $260 billion in FY 2007. Those same contractors have racked up over 750 instances of misconduct and paid over $27 billion in fines or penalties since 1995. A survey of that data shows that 62 federal contractors (listed below) have been involved in instances that might prohibit them from receiving future federal funds if the “Defund ACORN Act” becomes law.
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