Posts Tagged 'Obama'

Yes, you caught me… I admit that I was two-timing Broken Spines…

As Gen. David Petraeus has demonstrated for us this last week, even a rock of moral authority can fall from grace.  I know my various interests and activities have kept me from posting on Broken Spines in quite awhile but I felt I need to come back to defend my honor.  There are allegations out there that I have been two-timing by first blog… Broken Spines.  Well, I am here to set the record straight… those allegations are true.  In a moment of weakness, I built a WordPress blog (A Citizen’s Primer) more than five years ago with the intent of recruiting some of my fellow Pugilists to join me to:

“document our positions, ideas, and conclusion on today’s complex political topics.  Why us?  Why not… we feel that we a relatively informed individuals and that when we are able to break down complex topics that are swirling in the political ether we can come up with some plausible solutions that make sense.  We are not claiming to be experts but we do work hard to stay informed on political topics – reading books, magazines, & blogs – watching movies & documentaries – and discussing the issues with friends, family, & colleagues.”

Well, five long years has gone by without a single post until yesterday.  I decided to dust off the cover and share an editorial that I had originally submitted to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  The post was based on my personal frustration with the Republican Party for sitting on their hands over the last two years without one iota of progress or one hint of compromise.  My article was titled “As Minnesota goes, so goes the nation? We need to move beyond a political zero sum game” and it includes ideas for both Minnesota and National Republicans and Democrats to move forward after the election.  Well, there I’ve said it.  Now let the accusations begin, or perhaps… thou who are amongst you who have not sinned shall cast the first stone?

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Manifest Destiny

In his column yesterday, David Brooks wrote about America’s boundless verve and optimism. He wrote, “this eschatological faith in the future has motivated generations of Americans…to start up companies with an exaggerated sense of their chances of success. The faith is the molten core of the country’s dynamism.” But he goes on to write that we are experiencing a crisis of faith today.

What’s more, headlines today are saying Obama is getting rebuffed by the Chinese on everything from human rights to currency valuations. President Hu is emboldened by the fact that 86% of Chinese believe their country is on the right track, compared with 37% of Americans. And, I would have to agree that I’m skeptical that our government can address the systemic issues in our economy.

But, it would be un-American to end this post on a sour note. So, Brooks links us to an article from a year ago, before Obama was even elected, by Michael Porter in BusinessWeek titled “Why America Needs an Economic Strategy“. Even a year later, it remains a lucid assessment of where we are today and what we need to do to get back on track. I was amazed to read that the last time there was a public-private President’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness was in 1983!

Let’s put down the Palin autobiography and get to work.

Socialized Fire Fighting

I’m getting frustrated as I read reports that Obama’s health plan “has gone astray.” I don’t understand why Americans are afraid of increased government involvement in healthcare. It’s working well for the VA and Medicare – and isn’t the profit motive misplaced in healthcare anyhow?

In his column this morning, Nicholas Kristof writes:

…we have a single-payer system of public fire departments. We have the same for policing. If the security guard business were as powerful as the health insurance industry, then it would be denouncing “government takeovers” and “socialized police work.”

I just don’t understand why we may be about to reject health reform and stick with a dysfunctional system that takes away the health coverage of hard-working Americans when they become too sick with cancer to work.

Brooks and Obama Sittin’ In a Tree…

Last night David Brooks spoke at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis as part of a St. Thomas/Opus speaker series.  It turns out he has a lot of connections to Minnesota including his wife, who is from Detroit Lakes (which to him sounds like “Newark Gardens”).  He said that being married to a Minnesota woman, he learned quickly to capitulate – all the men in the audience laughed knowingly.  And, apparently, former Senator Dave Durenburger is a friend of the family and was in the front row.

Brooks was raised by liberal parents in New York, but he said he met William Buckley in college and has been a conservative ever since.  But, like his column, his speech was very complimentary of Obama.  The speech was titled “The Age of Obama” and he listed all the reasons why Obama is such a transformative figure and why he just might deliver on his hyper-ambitious plans.  He told story after story of how intellectually rigorous the President and his staff are – especially in contrast to the previous administration.  Overall, his speech left me bullish on Obama, even more skeptical of the Republican agenda, and a bigger fan of David Brooks.


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