I was torturing myself this morning as usual and watching Morning Starbucks with Joe and Mika. Arianna Huffington was on with them, apparently she hosted a party for Mika’s book last night with the Hollywood folks, she is kind of the west coast’s Sally Quinn. I watched as Joe and Arianna agreed on damn near everything, it inspired me to write this post about the transformation of The Huffington Post from being a Bush bashing blog to an Obama bashing blog.
I remember vividly when Arianna Huffington broke with the Bush/Cheney Republican Party, I saw a speech that she gave on C-SPAN and thought, wow, a Republican criticizing a fellow Republican. She then turned it into a business by launching The Huffington Post blog and news site. She seemed rather good at attacking Bush and drew many progressives to her site for that reason. I have to admit, I was a regular reader during the Bush/Cheney years and it continued until several months ago when the transition from attacking Bush to attacking Obama occurred. It was a gradual process that has now taken full bloom. In a recent post by Arianna, she interprets the president’s State of the Union address through her veil of cynicism and her true conservative beliefs are coming into display again. Here is a piece from her post…
But judging from the speech, he also spent a lot of time going over the results of focus groups and polls. Indeed, the speech, despite its charm, humor, and occasionally impassioned rhetoric, had the feel of being focus-grouped within an inch of its life. There was a decidedly paint-by-poll-numbers air about it.
Ah, so he doesn’t really believe anything he said, he’s just saying what a poll says he should say. She somehow then jumps into blaming Obama for the two wars that he inherited and is trying to clean up. It’s like she’s just swapped out Obama’s name with Bush’s, because they are soooooo similar, aren’t they? She then goes on to write this….
The president’s Pander-palooza continued with the middle class-friendly initiatives he announced on Monday and touched on again during the SOTFG (State of the Focus Group).
Oh no, not middle class-friendly initiatives, that must be pandering. It’s so fucking easy to be cynical about everything, it can’t possibly be that he cares about the middle class. She then blames the whole bailout of the banks on Obama, even though I seem to remember that it was a Bush administration proposal, before President Obama even took office. Remember, the sky was falling, pensions were at risk, life savings at risk, the housing market was about to collapse, the stock market…..great depression….oh nooooooooooo. So our new president did what everyone told him had to be done and bailed out the banks. Almost all of that money has been paid back, but somehow that fact eludes the people who want to attack the president, convenient amnesia.
When are the democrats and real progressives going to call out the Arianna Huffington’s, the Jane Hamsher’s and the Cenk Uygur’s on their undermining of progressive causes? When are we going to stop playing footsie with those who want to bring down our democratic president who is fighting against the new 41 seat majority of Republicans? When are we going to take a look at these folks as the turncoats that they are? I’m going to keep hammering them.
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama showed the country why he is absolutely the best person to lead this country in this time in our history. He was eloquent, forceful, realistic, honest, forward looking and inspirational. Only those people who watched through their veils of hate can say otherwise. There were many highlights for me and below are some excerpts that were particularly good.
He showed compassion.
But the devastation remains. One in ten Americans still cannot find work. Many businesses have shuttered. Home values have declined. Small towns and rural communities have been hit especially hard. For those who had already known poverty, life has become that much harder.
This recession has also compounded the burdens that America’s families have been dealing with for decades – the burden of working harder and longer for less; of being unable to save enough to retire or help kids with college.
So I know the anxieties that are out there right now. They’re not new. These struggles are the reason I ran for President. These struggles are what I’ve witnessed for years in places like Elkhart, Indiana and Galesburg, Illinois. I hear about them in the letters that I read each night. The toughest to read are those written by children – asking why they have to move from their home, or when their mom or dad will be able to go back to work.
He was inspirational.
You know what else they share? They share a stubborn resilience in the face of adversity. After one of the most difficult years in our history, they remain busy building cars and teaching kids; starting businesses and going back to school. They’re coaching little league and helping their neighbors. As one woman wrote me, “We are strained but hopeful, struggling but encouraged.”
It is because of this spirit – this great decency and great strength – that I have never been more hopeful about America’s future than I am tonight. Despite our hardships, our union is strong. We do not give up. We do not quit. We do not allow fear or division to break our spirit. In this new decade, it’s time the American people get a government that matches their decency; that embodies their strength.
He gave concrete proposals.
So tonight, I’m proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. I am also proposing a new small business tax credit – one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. While we’re at it, let’s also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment; and provide a tax incentive for all businesses, large and small, to invest in new plants and equipment…
…The House has passed a jobs bill that includes some of these steps. As the first order of business this year, I urge the Senate to do the same. People are out of work. They are hurting. They need our help. And I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay…
He was forceful.
You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China’s not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany’s not waiting. India’s not waiting. These nations aren’t standing still. These nations aren’t playing for second place. They’re putting more emphasis on math and science. They’re rebuilding their infrastructure. They are making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs.
Well I do not accept second-place for the United States of America. As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may be, it’s time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.
He was honest and admitted his own failures.
Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan. It would reduce costs and premiums for millions of families and businesses. And according to the Congressional Budget Office – the independent organization that both parties have cited as the official scorekeeper for Congress – our approach would bring down the deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades.
Still, this is a complex issue, and the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people. And I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, this process left most Americans wondering what’s in it for them.
He gave us context and historical perspective.
So let me start the discussion of government spending by setting the record straight. At the beginning of the last decade, America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion. By the time I took office, we had a one year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. That was before I walked in the door.
Now if we had taken office in ordinary times, I would have liked nothing more than to start bringing down the deficit. But we took office amid a crisis, and our efforts to prevent a second Depression have added another $1 trillion to our national debt.
I am absolutely convinced that was the right thing to do. But families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same. So tonight, I’m proposing specific steps to pay for the $1 trillion that it took to rescue the economy last year.
He was inspirational and had a call to action.
Our administration has had some political setbacks this year, and some of them were deserved. But I wake up every day knowing that they are nothing compared to the setbacks that families all across this country have faced this year. And what keeps me going – what keeps me fighting – is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of determination and optimism – that fundamental decency that has always been at the core of the American people – lives on.
It lives on in the struggling small business owner who wrote to me of his company, “None of us,” he said, “…are willing to consider, even slightly, that we might fail.”
It lives on in the woman who said that even though she and her neighbors have felt the pain of recession, “We are strong. We are resilient. We are American.”
It lives on in the 8-year old boy in Louisiana, who just sent me his allowance and asked if I would give it to the people of Haiti. And it lives on in all the Americans who’ve dropped everything to go some place they’ve never been and pull people they’ve never known from rubble, prompting chants of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A!” when another life was saved.
The spirit that has sustained this nation for more than two centuries lives on in you, its people.
We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult decade. But a new year has come. A new decade stretches before us. We don’t quit. I don’t quit. Let’s seize this moment – to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more.
Thank you. God Bless You. And God Bless the United States of America.