Nuance vs. Conviction

An op-ed in the L.A. Times, Obama’s Clarity Gap, sheds light on what I believe is a growing sentiment among Obama supporters: We still support him but what is he willing to fight for? In the debt debate the President appeared to be willing to fight for increased tax revenue as part of a balanced approach but ultimately the deal that was completed is entirely one-sided. Maybe it’s not fair to use this one example because Republicans in Congress appear to have left Obama with little choice since many felt default either wouldn’t happen, or wasn’t a big deal. But this is not the first time Obama has punted. He punted last December by extending the Bush tax cuts. So what is President Obama willing to fight for? I don’t dismiss the great achievements of his first term, health care reform, repeal of don’t ask don’t tell, Osama bin Laden, but I feel increasingly frustrated because I don’t know where President Obama is willing to make stand.

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A Credible Downgrade?

On Friday Standard & Poor’s lowered the AAA credit rating of the United States. The new credit rating is now AA+ and it marks the first time in history that the U.S. has had its credit rating lowered. It probably doesn’t even need mention that this will serve as political ammunition for opponents to President Obama. It will be beside the point that the Republicans use of the debt ceiling for political advantage is the only reason the United States came precariously close to a first ever default on its financial obligations.

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This Is Why I Like Rachel

This is why I like Rachel. She never hesitates to correct an inaccuracy previously reported on her show. At a time when we have deliberate­ly misleading stories on another news network it is refreshing to have a news personalit­y that really cares about getting things right. Having said that, I would prefer less focus on blowhards like Rush and instead focus on really important issues. This is only a minor critique as most of the stories covered on Rachel’s show are quite important.

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Less Than Total Recall

People are who they are, and behave as they do because of unique combinations of personal life experiences. The memories we create from these experiences are then used to formulate assumptions, opinions and beliefs. But assumptions, opinions and beliefs also play a role in the very formation of these memories.

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Bad Ideas Die Hard

As the economy increasingly begins to resemble the scene pictured below from Live Free or Die Hard (2007) we still have persistent calls for incredibly stupid ideas on how to fix the economy. Republicans in congress led the charge with stupid ideas and many Democrats appear to be complicit in the madness.

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Balance We Can’t Believe In

A balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been floated before. Let me state emphatically that it’s a stupid idea. I’m all for conscientious spending of tax dollars but a balanced budget amendment means that in a time of national emergency (natural or man-made disaster) we could not spend the money required to address the emergency at hand unless we could balance the books in the process. But if there is one silver lining, we wouldn’t have had the two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) had there been a balanced budget amendment at the time.

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Who Lost The Debt Debate?

A poll on cnn.com today asks: Which party won the debt debate? The more important question is: Who lost the debt debate? The answer would be simple, us! The average citizen. The fact that the country can be held hostage to the narrow ideology of a small group means we all lose. If this is what our politics is going to look like moving forward I don’t know how our democracy is going to fair. While it’s true that democracy does not always mean majority rule, I think it’s safe to say that a small group of narrowed-minded people that want to punish others for what they perceive as “leeching off the system” is not very democratic at all. It has increasingly become obvious to me that we have one party in this country that governs based on the best in people and we have another party that governs based on the worst in people. One party assumes everybody is looking to take advantage of the system. The other party does not. I don’t think I need to mention which one is which.

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