The Least, First

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Obama’s quiet gains against poverty

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Apparently, progress being made against poverty may prove to be the greatest gains in 40 years.
clipped from www.thenation.com

At a the forum “Obama at 100: A Progress Report from The Nation” held on April 21, 2009 Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director, Center for Community Change, lauded the early progress the Obama administration has made in reversing forty years of neglect for the poor.

While Bhargava, an editorial board member at The Nation, made clear that the devastating scope of the recession has mitigated the impact of the reforms, he concluded that, “Boy, it is a new day in Washington.”

Corbin Hiar

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That’s “the least, first.” And I believe it is what government exists to do.

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How Fox News covers Obama

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A little satire with a pretty good point:
clipped from www.cagle.com

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But where’s Bill?

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Brooks: it’s “incredibly stupid” to hope Obama fails

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David Brooks, a thorough-going conservative and an admirably ethical political writer, took a question on C-Span that was embedded with racial and (what will seem to some unstable characters as) murderous overtones:
clipped from thinkprogress.org

David Brooks
Image via Wikipedia

Today on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, conservative columnist David Brooks ridiculed those on the right who have said they want Obama to fail. During the segment, a caller — who claimed to be phoning in from “a club” in Georgia full of “all white folks, all millionaires and good Republicans” — begged Brooks to “come on board” with Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Fox News to “get on Mr. Obama’s case.” “We got to bring that man down,” the caller said, adding, “We just cannot have eight years of this black man.”

BROOKS: It’s tremendously important to put color and prejudice aside and see him for what he is, which is just an incredibly impressive smart man. […] And I just think it’s incredibly important to root for the guy, whether you agree with every policy. […] But the idea that we shouldn’t be rooting for our president strikes me as not only, I don’t know about unpatriotic, it’s just stupid. We should be rooting for our president because it’s rooting for ourselves.

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It’s a wise admonition. Every American should decry talk like “We got to bring that man down,” and “We just cannot have eight years of this black man.”  That’s Klan talk, despised by people of good will across the political spectrum.

Brooks’ pleas to “put color and prejudice aside” and to cheer for whatever can be cheered for strikes me as remarkably sensible, and even good.   Conspiratorial animus rarely makes us better.

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Obama asks GOP for more than ‘Just say no’

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President Obama asks those in Congress who object to specific budget proposals to work on “problem solving” rather than “point-scoring,” in yesterday morning’s “Statement on the Budget:”
clipped from www.dailykos.com
The answers don’t have to be partisan, and I welcome and encourage proposals and improvements from both Democrats and Republicans in the coming days.

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But the one thing I will say is this:  With the magnitude of the challenges we face right now, what we need in Washington are not more political tactics — we need more good ideas.  We don’t need more point-scoring — we need more problem-solving.  So if there are members of Congress who object to specific policies and proposals in this budget, then I ask them to be ready and willing to propose constructive, alternative solutions.  If certain aspects of this budget people don’t think work, provide us some ideas in terms of what you do.  “Just say no” is the right advice to give your teenagers about drugs.  It is not an acceptable response to whatever economic policy is proposed by the other party.

The American people sent us here to get things done
Let’s pass a budget that puts this nation on the road to lasting prosperity.
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Written by Monte

March 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm

NYT: ‘Taking on critics, Obama sets aside talk of unity’

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I never thought I’d feel good about “set[ting] aside talk of unity,” but this is hopeful.

clipped from www.nytimes.com

photo by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Three weeks into his tenure, Mr. Obama acknowledged that his effort to change the political climate in Washington had yielded little. He made clear that he had all but given up hope of securing a bipartisan consensus behind his $800 billion economic recovery package, arguing that the urgency of the economic crisis had at least for now outweighed the need for unity.
“I’m happy to get good ideas from across the political spectrum, from Democrats and Republicans,” he said at the Monday night news conference. “What I won’t do is return to the failed theories of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place, because those theories have been tested and they have failed. And that’s part of what the election in November was all about.”
“It’s a little hard for me to take criticism from folks about this recovery package after they presided over a doubling of the national debt,”
“I’m not sure they have a lot of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility.”
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White House Press Se...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

This could be called a “reality check” tour.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, decried what he called a “myopic viewpoint in Washington,” disconnected from the troubles of the country. “…there’s a whole different conversation in Washington than there is out here,” said David Axelrod… “If I had listened to the conversation in Washington during the campaign for president, I would have jumped off a building about a year and a half ago.”

There comes a time when obstructionism simply has to be out-voted. As the saying goes, “You can lead horses to water, but you can’t make ‘em drink.”  You sure can’t let them keep others thirsty.

Follow the Times link for the whole story.


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Written by Monte

February 10, 2009 at 10:37 am

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