Tag: barack obama

Daily Life

Barack in Fort Collins

Today 50,000 people packed the Oval at CSU to see Barack Obama speak. The line was two and a half miles long, and the rally got an early start, so the Secret Service stopped screening people in order to get everyone in as quickly as possible.

My friends and I got a spot about two thirds back on the length of the oval. Because the crowd was so long, it was pretty hard to see, so we ended up taking turns pushing up on each others’ shoulders to get a quick glimpse. My camera has a swiveling screen, so I could get it above some heads and see a bit, periscope-style. But most of all, it was great just to be there.

Obama  mostly went through his current stump speech, emphasizing his plans to make taxes lower than they were under Ronald Reagan, reform healthcare, restore the economy, and improve access to education.

Because of our location farther back on the oval, I couldn’t get the greatest photos, but I managed to take a few decent ones… Check them out on my Picasa album. I also took a quick video of Obama speaking on the economy, as well as one of the crowd of 50,000.


Meet Joe the Plumber

This last debate had me wondering what all this “Joe the Plumber” fuss was about… So I asked the internets, and they told me to watch this:


Joe the Plumber on YouTube
This is just me talking, but I found this conversation much more informative than the entire debate which kept on throwing Joe’s name around for political fodder and support. I wasn’t proud of either candidate’s performances in the three debates, but stuff like this deserves a lot more attention. Negative ads and smears that don’t show the whole picture are escaping the actual issues, which nobody seems to be talking about these days. I wish I could see more stuff like this from both Obama and McCain – we’d be making much more informed decisions if they could just change their approach.


Responsible Economic Recovery

The Bush administration’s proposed $700 billion, no-strings-attached bailout of the financial industry is meeting strong opposition from Congress on both the left and right. Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd, a Democrat, said, “What they have sent us is not acceptable.” Kentucky Republican Jim Brunning said the plan would “take Wall Street’s pain and spread it to the taxpayers… It’s financial socialism, and it’s un-American.”

Not only is this plan risky, but it’s extremely expensive. For comparison, the “liberal,” Democrat-written economic stimulus act passed earlier this year totals $256 billion – $904 per American. (This includes spending over the next 10 years, not just the tax rebate check this year.) The Bush bill would give up to $2293 directly to irresponsible businesses on behalf of every single American. Conservatives, please take note!

The current financial crisis must be dealt with quickly – if we take no action, we will be in a horribly worse situation. But we have to make sure that we take the right action; there are no second chances at this. The rationale for any government intervention is that preventing the failure of these huge companies is not in the public interest. Indeed, if some of these huge companies were to fail, it would have a devastating impact across America. By contrast, the Bush bailout is simply a $700 billion check to the companies that are reaping the consequences of their irresponsibly risky actions.

The federal government must take actions that are truly in the public interest. This means not only keeping these huge companies from failing, but making sure that they cannot continue to take advantage of middle class Americans who are already struggling. Regulations must be put in place to ensure that taxpayers’ investment in these companies actually will benefit them.

The Barack Obama campaign has started a petition online for an economic recovery plan that actually works for Americans. This issue is clearly not a matter of left versus right. Americans need to come together and demand accountability and responsibility from big business and Washington as they plan our economic future. I encourage you to go sign it – this isn’t about Barack Obama or John McCain, or left versus right. It’s about protecting all Americans.

Here is the text of the petition:

Show Your Support for a Responsible Economic Recovery Plan
We are facing a financial crisis as profound as any we have faced since the Great Depression.

Congress and the President are currently debating a bailout of our financial institutions with a price tag of $700 billion in taxpayer dollars. We cannot underestimate our responsibility in taking such an enormous step.

Please sign on to show your support for an economic recovery plan based on these guiding principles:

  • No Golden Parachutes — Taxpayer dollars should not be used to reward the irresponsible Wall Street executives who helmed this disaster.
  • Main Street, Not Just Wall Street — Any bailout plan must include a payback strategy for taxpayers who are footing the bill and aid to innocent homeowners who are facing foreclosure.
  • Bipartisan Oversight — The staggering amount of taxpayer money involved demands a bipartisan board to ensure accountability and oversight.

The Obama Tax Cut

This site is a great tool, check it out… Put in your basic tax information (nothing personal) and it calculates your tax cut under Barack Obama’s tax proposal – and how much more you will pay under McCain’s plan.

This is an important factor for conservatives to consider- the Republican party of the last eight years has abandoned the ideals of fiscal conservativism in pursuit of other priorities, such as their aggressive foreign policy agenda and expansions of executive privelege in an ever-more-powerful federal government. While the GOP once served the interests of responsible spending and limited government, this is no longer the case.

I make no claims that Barack Obama is himself a conservative- he is most certainly liberal in his views. However, his plans and policies (warning: PDF link) reach above partisan politics and should serve to benefit all Americans, not just liberals. Conservatives no longer have a party or candidate that truly stands for them, but I believe that Barack Obama’s tax cuts and other plans deserve a lot more attention from the displaced conservative demographic.


Peace Corps?

I’m seriously considering going into the Peace Corps after I graduate. The thought has occurred to me off and on for the last year or so, and some of Barack Obama’s comments on service at his Wesleyan commencement address brought it back to my attention today:

I also began to realize that I wasn’t just helping other people. Through service, I found a community that embraced me; citizenship that was meaningful; the direction that I’d been seeking. Through service, I discovered how my own improbable story fit in to the larger story of America.

Now, each of you will have the chance to make your own discovery in the years to come. And I say “chance” because, as President Roth indicated, you won’t have to take it. There’s no community service requirement in the outside world; no one’s forcing you to care. You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and the other things that our money culture says you should buy. You can choose to narrow your concerns and live life in a way that tries to keep your story separate from America’s.

But I hope you don’t. Not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate, although I believe you do have that obligation. Not because you have a debt to all those who helped you get to where you are today, although I do believe you have that debt to pay.

It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation. Because thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your immediate wants and needs, betrays a poverty of ambition. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential and discover the role that you’ll play in writing the next great chapter in the American story.

The Corps has a program specifically targeted at CS and IS graduates – helping people in developing countries to increase their skills and access to technologies, building labs, helping schoolchildren gain job skills, helping adults with business development.

I have no idea of where I’d go, but my guess is that my Spanish experience might have something to do with it.

The only part that intimidates me, rather than exciting me, is the thought of leaving for over two years. But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I’m going to look further into this and see if it’s a possibility.