Posts Tagged: Change we can believe in

The real deficit is one of confidence and readiness to change

Nicholas Kristof had a thought-provoking piece over the weekend in the New York Times pointing out how reckless politicians are hurting America from within:

The biggest threat to America’s national security this summer doesn’t come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home.

Motivated by ideology rather than practicality, some members of Congress are blind to the way their position will actually make America weaker, and how their “budget-cutting” stance will actually end up forcing the government to spend more (to finance debt payment at higher interest rates, for one). (more…)


By Matthew Blake

Chicago, August 11 — “Your typical president has two to three big problems,” Obama said at the April press conference marking his first 100 days in office. “I’ve got seven to eight big problems.” That might be an understatement. Obama inherited the worst economy since possibly the Great Depression, two wars, a war on terror that includes unprecedented questions of executive powers, a political crisis in Iran, a drug war in Mexico that could spill into the U.S., a crisis in food safety, a broken system of immigration laws, a deeply flawed – if not broken – health care system, a trillion-dollar deficit, and – oh yeah – the problem of the world melting in a few decades.

It’s now the dog days of summer with Congress, the Supreme Court, and, soon, a vacationing Obama, deserting Washington. Obama has now been president for 200 days (the anniversary came and went Saturday). The slow news cycle of the August recess will surely be dominated by Congress’s major focus this summer—the debate over health care reform. Obama has made health care reform the early priority of his presidency, with a cap-and-trade energy bill and rigorous education standards also at the top of his agenda. Whether our health care, energy and education policy are changed to the president’s liking will in many ways determine his political success and reflect whether the Obama presidency is able to follow through on pledges from the memorable Obama presidential campaign.

But Obama doesn’t have the luxury of just being judged by issues that he and his advisers seem most invested in. He also has to persevere over enormous economy and national security problems George W. Bush left behind – the war on terror, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and the economic crisis on both Wall Street and Main Street. Has Obama started to break away here from the largely discredited policies of his predecessor?

War on Terror Dead, Long Live The War On Terror

In late March, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that the war on terror is over – at least rhetorically. “The administration has stopped using the phrase,” Clinton said. “And I think that speaks for itself.” Whatever it speaks for, it doesn’t say very much. (more…)