President Obama has been out selling his budget ideas this week. He is reaffirming his principles and goals for the country under his leadership. For those of us who are mature politicos, who are realistic with our expectations, who take ALL variables into consideration when judging the President, aren’t surprised at what he has been doing this week. He is out kicking some ass, educating people and reaffirming the liberal ideas that our country has embraced for generations. You know, taking care of our fellow citizens and not leaving them in the cold to fend for themselves, like so many on the right seem to want. At the Facebook town hall meeting yesterday, President Obama forcefully defended his plan and laid waste to Paul Ryan’s. How soon till the rats in the Republican Party flee the sinking HMS Paul Ryan ship? From the New York Times story on the event…
“The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical,” Mr. Obama said. “And I wouldn’t call it particularly courageous.” He added: “I do think Mr. Ryan is sincere. I think he’s a patriot. I think he wants to solve a real problem, which is our long-term deficit. But I think that what he and the other Republicans in the House of Representatives also want to do is change our social compact in a pretty fundamental way.”
“Nothing is easier,” Mr. Obama said, “than solving a problem on the backs of people who are poor, or people who are powerless and don’t have lobbyists or don’t have clout.”
He joked to the billionaire Facebook founder that wealthy Americans — “people like me and, frankly, you, Mark” — should pay higher taxes to reduce deficits. But Republicans, he said, would further reduce taxes for rich taxpayers and corporations and cut deeply from clean energy, education and transportation programs “to make his numbers work.”
“I guess you could call that bold. I would call it short-sighted,” Mr. Obama said, provoking another burst of applause.
Because he comes up with posts like this one. If you don’t have Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly bookmarked on your toolbar, you really need to do that right now. I’ll paste a bit from his post below and add the clip from the Monty Python skit that he refers to below that. How on earth could the Monty Python troupe know how Republicans would act 30 years later. It’s amazing. From Steve…
BUDGET FACTS ARE STUBBORN THINGS…. Many of you are no doubt familiar with the classic Monty Python sketch from 1972 called the “Argument Clinic,” which, as regular readers know, is one of my favorites. It goes like this: a man who enjoys a good, substantive debate goes to a business that ostensibly provides one, but after paying his fee, he quickly discovers that the man on the other side of the desk simply contradicts literally everything he says.
A little too often, the “Argument Clinic” sketch reminds me of efforts to engage conservative Republicans in any kind of discourse. Take the debate over the House budget plan, approved last week.
Reasonable observers note that the plan privatizes Medicare. “No, it doesn’t,” the right responds. Those relying on reality add that Medicare would be replaced with vouchers. “No, it wouldn’t,” conservative reply.
And now for something completely different…
I was contacted by a 6th grade teacher from a little town in northern Michigan, East Jordan, and was asked if I could help him with a club that he set up a couple of years ago. I followed the link to the Youtube clip below and was blown away by the great things this teacher, Matt Hamilton is doing up there. He started a “Shoe Club” that was inspired by the concept of walking in others shoes. He encourages the students to “Dream Big”, set goals, give back to society and make the world a better place.
Matt’s “Shoe Club” asks famous and inspirational people to donate a shoe to the club to show their support. He has shoes from Michael Jordan, Phil Mickelson, Lance Burton, Kobe Bryant, Francis Collins, Lebron James and Arnold Palmer to name just a few…the list is quite impressive.
Matt tells us the mission of the club, “It’s a club designed for my 6th graders to help inspire and motivate them to work hard, set goals, dream big and to give back to other people and to respect people and love people.”
It is people like Matt Hamilton who give me hope for the future, one teacher who is clearly making a difference in his community. With the assault on education in our state of Michigan and across the country, it is great to be reminded how important these people are to the future of our country. I have several of those inspirational teachers in my own family and the importance of education can’t be overstated. Watch the clip below to feel good about our world and see what the effort of one teacher alone can have on our future generations. I’m going to help Matt in any way I can to expand his club to include a video production element. They want to make videos to inspire and change the world. Count me in!