barack obama

The Shoe’s on the Other Foot

Yesterday and today’s news headlines have been making me laugh:

December 17, 2008, 7:27 pm

Gay Activists Decry Pastor’s Role in Swearing-In

By Sarah Wheaton

The Rev. Rick Warren, a conservative evangelical pastor, has been tapped to deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration – and gay rights advocates are not happy about it.

Hmm, where have we seen this before? Oh yes, that’s right:

Famed Pastor Defends Invitation to Obama

The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 29, 2006; 11:14 AM

WASHINGTON — Famed pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren Wednesday defended his invitation to Democratic Sen. Barack Obama to speak at his church from objections by other evangelicals to the senator’s support of abortion rights.

Obama is one of nearly 60 speakers scheduled to address the second annual Global Summit on AIDS and the Church beginning Thursday at Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.

So two years ago we have pro-lifers “outraged” over Obama’s invitation to an AIDS summit, and now we have gay rights advocates “outraged” over Warren’s invitation to an inaugural event.

Personally I bet the media exaggerated both of these people, as I know some pretty rational people in the pro-life camp and the gay rights camp that aren’t freaking out over this. But regardless of the  amount of people who took offense to one invitation or the other, I think that those who did have missed the point about what Barack Obama is really about. Consider the following from his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope:

But for those of us who believe that government has a role to play in promoting opportunity and prosperity for all Americans, a polarized electorate isn’t good enough. Eking out a bare Democratic majority isn’t good enough. What’s needed is a broad majority of Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and independents of goodwill – who are reengaged in the project of national renewal, and who see their own self-interest as inextricably linked to the interests of others. (40)

Our country needs to move forward. I don’t care what you think about gay rights, abortion rights, any of it: we need your voice. We need everyone to work together on making actual progress instead of this self-destructive fight to silence people who disagree with us on this issue or that issue. Democracies function best when everyone puts their word in. And I honestly don’t give a crap if the guy working with me to stop AIDS is pro-choice or anti-gay. If we continue to shut ourselves off from each other, we will make no progress on anything.

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.