Category Archives: Domestic Affairs
The 2012 State of the Union was yet another eloquently delivered speech by our president, Barack Obama. While talking to a buddy of mine who isn’t entirely on the progressive side of things, he admitted that “it’s good to have a President that doesn’t make up words and sayings.” My sentiments entirely. Far gone are the Bush days of “misunderestimating,” “Axes of Evil,” and being the laughingstock of the world. Our President also showed his bipartisan nature by highlighting many things the two sides agree on, including merging six government agencies into one, cutting out needless bureaucracy, rewarding teachers for doing a good job and inspiring their students, strengthening the border, and cutting taxes for companies that keep jobs here in America. He then essentially threw the ball in the Congressional court, telling them that if they pass bills with the above ideas that both sides agree on, he will “sign them right away.”
He additionally gave progressives a lot to be happy about, with his statements on asking the Top 2% of Americans to pay their fair share, citing Mitt Romney’s insanely low tax percentage as evidence that the richest Americans are getting away with paying the same percentage of taxes as the bus driver or coal miner barely making ends meet. He highlighted the need for environmental change, citing what he’s already done and what he plans to do with increasing funding for natural gas, wind, solar, and biofuel research. He also showed the three million job increase that has occured in the last 22 months, a revolutionary increase in jobs. Finally, he said that enough was enough with Congresspeople engaging in insider trading, and requesting a fair playing field for all people living in this country.
Whether or not you support progressivism (although if you’re reading this you probably do), it’s hard to deny Barack Obama’s still got game. It’s time for Washington embrace the no-drama attitude Obama has embodied for years, and get things done in this country. I’m proud Obama is the leader of my party, and am beyond honored that he’s coming to U of M to speak at the Al Glick Field House on Friday (get your tickets at the Michigan Union Ticket Office tomorrow morning at 9 am!). Seeing the man in person will certainly be an honor.
The obligatory disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein reflect only the views of the author and don’t represent the opinions of any organization with “D” in it. Be thankful, organizations with “D”, you are guaranteed to be much more witty than I could ever muster.
-President Obama delivered his State of the Union address last night and gave a very centrist speech, with a few bones to progressives (high speed rail, DREAM act) and the right (spending freeze, regulation reform). Meanwhile, Charles Bogren was listening to a different speech, and when asked his thoughts he responded with a drooling word salad of “liberals liberals liberals Communism evil aliens.”
-WolvPAC wants the University to start an Israel program since apparently the students have the option of studying abroad in every other country ever, except Israel. Because the University has always been keen on sending its undergraduates to the lands of Fidel Castro and Kim Jong-il.
-The Michigan Daily Editorial: Banish the smoking ban!! Have cigarette smoke fill the University forevermore! Huzzah!
-Lighting is causing all the crime in Ann Arbor. Too bad Michele Bachmann just started leading a crusade in her State of the Union rebuttal against lightbulbs.
-Yay for Sundance short films coming to Michigan! The pinnacle of cinematography, the festival includes “Mr. Okra,” a story about a man who sells fruits and vegetables from his truth in New Orleans, singing about his vegetables. Finally, a movie geared to the small, but vibrant druggie culture in Ann Arbor.
-Rich Rod is joining CBS as a guest analyst. Funny, I had seen him working at the Bursley Dining Hall on occasion the past few weeks. Looks like he’s moving on up.
-According to the Random Pointless Student Interview, North Campus sucks. Kudos to the Michigan Daily esteemed newspaper for day in, day out, telling us things we knew the first day of setting foot on Ann Arbor soil.
For all who read through the whole thing, thank you.
As some of you may or may not have seen, Mitch Rivard from MSU Dems posted this on his Facebook earlier and I wanted to repost it:
After watching the video go to this website to sign a petition to end discrimination against gay marriage.
President Obama exits following his address on Monday.
Many of you have been going through tough times for longer than you care to remember.Â And I won’t pretend that the tough times are over.Â I can’t promise you there isn’t more difficulty to come.Â But what I can promise you is this:Â I will fight for you.Â You’re the reason I’m here today.Â I got my start fighting for working families in the shadows of a shuttered steel plant.Â I wake up every single day asking myself what can I do to give you and working people all across this country a fair shot at the American Dream. (March 30, 2009)
“Good, but not good enough.” President Obama emphasized this particular point in yesterday’s address that focused on the administration’s recommendations for the struggling U.S. auto industry. Recall in February, GM and Chrysler both offered to restructure their companies and provide the government with comprehensive plans to stay afloat. After thorough evaluation, Obama’s Auto Task Force decided that the the plans don’t go far enough in attacking the problems plaguing the auto companies and put a date on company restructuring.
The reactions to the administration’sÂ have varied from agreement to resigned dissent. Unsurprisingly, the Michigan delegation, though voicing support for the plan, is deeply concerned with the possible repercussions of the recommendations on an already struggling state. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) wrote only today, “I urge the Obama administration to review carefully the progress made by Chrysler and GM in 30 and 60 days, respectively, and give strong consideration to allowing more time for restructuring. The fate of these corporations and their cumulative impact on the national economy are too important to be subjected to an arbitrary deadline” (USA Today).
Is the deadline “arbitrary” and unjustified? There’s obviously multiple perspectives. Take a look at the actual plan and then make your own decision.
This could be the First Couch! Design by Michael S. Smith.
Today, the Obama family announced they would be redecorating the White House’s private quarters. While it is traditional for the First Family to spruce up the WH to their liking, the Obama’s are doing something entirely unique: they are funding the remodeling entirely out of pocket.
The First Family is traditionally allotted 100,000 dollars for sprucing up and usually draws on financial donations from the White House Historical Association. However, The Office of the Frist Lady announced today they “are not using public funds or accepting donations of goods for redecorating their private quarters.”
Although this is a small statement amid our much larger financial woes, it’s nice to see the Obama’s making sensible, respectful decisions. Michelle had previously promised to not use taxpayer funds for decorating and even tossed around the idea of using Pottery Barn in the First Family’s quarters. To put the spending into perspective, the last purchase for the White House Historical Association was a 74,000 dollar set of china for Laura Bush. Go figure.
And for those of you who are HGTV dorks like myself (looking at you Zach Martin), the Obama’s have hired Michael S. Smith, a notable California designer known for ” â€œOld World classicism with very contemporary settings.” In the past he was worked for Steven Spielberg and Rupert Murdoch.Â (Source NYMag)
The Department of Justice announced several weeks ago that the government would end the Bush-era practice of designating people “enemy combatants.”Â The Bush administration had asserted that the president has a wartime power to declare a person an “enemy combatant” arbitrarily and detain him or her indefinitely.Â The administration used “enemy combatant” status to ensure that suspected terrorists were held out of reach of both international law (namely the Geneva Conventions) and fundamental Constitutional rights, particularly the right to due process.
It is widely agreed that the president has increased powers during wartime.Â President Abraham Lincoln first asserted such wartime powers during the Civil War.Â Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman also took up expanded powers during war.Â Following September 11th, President Bush argued that he too had extraordinary wartime powers–this time from the War on Terrorism.
While the principle of expanded wartime powers is reasonable, it becomes concerning in the context of the War on Terrorism.Â Terrorists, by definition, do not represent a country; rather they are individuals or members of organized groups that commit acts of violence in an effort to attain change (usually political change).Â Terrorists can spring up anywhere in the world at any time.Â While this makes them particularly dangerous, it also changes the concept of “war.”Â In traditional wars, such as World War II, there are clear sides and the war ends when one side is defeated.Â A war against a noun , however, will always be perpetual.Â While the War on Terrorism certainly needs to be fought, using an indefinite war as grounds for extraordinary governmental powers is straight out of “1984″ and is certainly not something that the Framers had in mind.
Fortunately, President Barack Obama has signaled a change in course by dropping the “enemy combatant” designation and removing such prisoners from legal limbo. President Obama, a Constitutional law scholar himself, understands that America derives its greatness from its values and its freedoms, and that the terrorists have won we surrender our liberties.
On the web.
…but really it’s just a straight-talking graph from our friends over at MoveOn.
President Obama spoke today to the New Democrat Coalition — the Congressional arm of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council which is known for supporting free trade and business-friendly liberalism.Â Given that the President has already met with the Blue Dogs (a group of conservative and moderate Democrats well to the right of the DLC and with whom no-one would reasonably associate Obama) the meeting itself doesn’t tell us much about his ideology .Â What was interesting was the text of his speech in which he vowed he was opposed to protectionism, fiscally responsible and “pro-growth” (is anyone anti-growth?) and seemingly aligned himself with a wing of the party well known for angering large swaths of the left. (more…)