Sunday, January 31, 2010

Obama's Q & A

First, read or watch the 90 minute Q&A Obama held before the House Republican Caucus on Friday. Great stuff. 

It's great to see real political debate and not simply talking points.  It's easy for a politican to issue a statement or use a sound bite, but to go toe-to-toe with Obama? Please, son! 

Here's what I took away from this session: Obama showed he knows the facts and that he understands them.  He shot down every Republican talking point with facts.  So much so that Fox News had cut away from the coverage.  My hope is that this means Obama and Republicans have turned a corner: They need to  work together because democracy is about compromise; it's not about getting everything you want. 

To read the transcript from the Q&A, click this link:

Edited by John O'Connor

Friday, January 29, 2010

Be a Follower!!!!

Hey Everyone-

Want to know what Jack and I are thinking all the time, then sign-up to be a follower of this blog.

State of Jobs

I am glad that President Obama will be focusing on job creation and the economy in 2010.  In the first 6 months of his term, he did not focus enough on these issues. What interests me the most is his proposal to set up a high-speed rail system.  This would bring our nation's transportation system into the 21st century, and create thousands of jobs at the same time.  Imagine: living in Detroit but working in Chicago!!!

While a focus on job creation is needed right now, pivoting from healthcare to jobs should not mean that our government abandons the healthcare debate.  Reforming our healthcare system also means job creation. Imagine all the physicians' offices that will need additional support staff because of the influx of patients. Healthcare reform = job creation = national health and prosperity.

Edited by John O'Connor

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Expectations for the State of the Union

What I would like to hear from the President:

  1. Healthcare- a plan on how legislation will move forward. It is clear that Congress is waiting to see what Obama has to say. The President should strongly advocate that the Senate pass its health care bill and make changes through reconillation with the House bill.
  2. Jobs Bill- too many people are out of work and the first stimulus package was too small
  3. DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell) - repeal it.
  4. Financial Reform- can we please fix our banking system?
  5. Iraq- Why are we still there?
  6. Middle East- Can somebody tell me what the f**k is going on over there? Because I sure don't know.
Edited by: John O'Connor

Friday, January 22, 2010

The End?

So in MA this week we saw a special election between a charismatic Republican candidate and a Democratic candidate who did not feel that shaking hands was needed to win Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat. The loss of the MA Senate seat is a blow; a huge blow to the Democratic Party. This loss should not be seen as the death knell for the Democratic Party. But listening to my party's leaders, I wouldn’t know it. It seems that Health care Reform is now either tabled or dead in the water. And it worries me that after speaking to several people, I hear more apathy than concern over this new development. Let me simply put this in context: 40,000 people die each year because they lack insurance (these people are not just the poverty-stricken, they are also middle class Americans). Roughly 30-40 million Americans do not currently have health insurance, and the number is rising each month. Health care costs are bankrupting America (at this rate, for those of us age 25 and younger, Medicare will not even exist by the time we are old enough to take advantage of it), and based on all International health indicators, we rank near the bottom of industrialized countries in terms of health as a nation.

The death of health care reform now means more than just waiting for change in the future. America has already waited long enough for this change, and deserves better. Personally, I love it when I talk to people who tell me “we don’t need health care reform.” Yet these same people are unemployed, only covered by their parents’ insurance, or even worse, they are forced to pay large fees for their current insurance. If you are among those of us lucky enough to have any health coverage, ask yourself: just because you have insurance, how do you know that it’s good insurance? What if tomorrow, instead of being charged 200 dollars a month, your insurance provider decides to charge you 400 dollars a month? What if your employer can no longer afford to offer health insurance? These questions are real and important. And without real change, the answers to these questions are unfortunately grim.

Finally, if health care reform does not pass because of the Democratic Party’s failure to push legislation through Congress, I truly believe this it will be disastrous for the country. First, the base of the Democratic Party will leave them (for example, I know I will not vote for any Dem in the coming years if health care reform isn’t soon made a reality). Without the support of the democratic base, Republicans will put more radical "Teabagger" candidates in elections. And they’ll win. Yes, these “Real Americans,” who thrive on racism, hate, and bigotry will not only win, they will win handily. Imagine Glenn Beck running your country, because it’s coming sooner than you think. What we have here is a breakdown, a complete breakdown, of the two party system. The Dems seem unable to govern; and, like children, the Republicans are only capable of saying one word to the Democrats’ legislative agenda: No.

This breakdown of the two-party system is the exact reason why more young people need to become more informed and vote. In the MA special election, only 18% of the people that voted were young. And look at the result. Compare that to the outcome in 2008, when 33% of voters were young people. Had we seen a higher turnout of young voters in MA, then I can guarantee you, this post would be happier.

So is this the end? The end of what? At this point, I don’t know. But can somebody please tell me how this country is moving forward at all?

Edited by: John O'Connor