Tag Archives: Obama

Obama and Marriage Equality

Cindy Hill: President Barack Obama finally gave up his poorly-veiled attempt to avoid saying something definitive on the issue of marriage equality, and declared that “personally” he thinks same gender couples should be able to get married. A few days…

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The Liberal Enthusiasm Gap

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: The folks at Public Policy Polling recently announced that Democrats are facing an “enthusiasm gap” going into the 2012 presidential (re)election, with fewer than 50 percent of polled Dems announcing they are “very excited” about…

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Liberal Opinion of Obama

AKIE BERMISS: I guess it would be hard for me to describe myself as a hardcore liberal. Not me. Certainly, born a Democrat, liberal-leaning values, and in my ideal world everything is green, recyclable government-by-the-people. However, whenever I start to consider problems in the imperfect and corporeal world before me, I become a sort of Democratic pragmatist. That is, I know that if I have some liberal fantasy I’ve been nursing in the back of my mind then there is problem someone out there with a non-liberal utopian paradise that they’d like to see. I think adhering to core principles is a great virtue especially as an academic or theorist, as a sophist or teacher, or something like that. But when it comes to governing — and, let’s be clear, by “governing” we mean ruling/guiding/helping/punishing a large group of people — there is simply no effective way to be both an effective idealist and an effective ruler. This sounds like pooh-poohing, I know, and my liberal friends have already condemned me to an atheistic perdition because of it. Nonetheless, I think if you really look at history, you’ll find it to be true.

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Obama Returning Manhattan to Native Americans?

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Let’s entertain for a moment the outlandish notion that Obama is supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People so that he can somehow give Manhattan back to the Native American population that used to occupy it and through them assume control of the island. I know that’s a lot to assume. But what’s even more presumptuous is the idea that said population would actually want Manhattan back at this point. I mean, would you? Continue reading

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Public Apologies

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I’m growing extremely tired of public figures making statements and then immediately backtracking whenever those statements appear to have provoked the slightest degree of public displeasure or condemnation. That’s why I rather appreciated a recent situation involving James Carville retelling a joke involving Hillary Clinton giving one of her balls to Obama so he’d have two. When Carville was contacted by CNN’s John King and told that that public was “outraged” by his comment, he sounded genuinely surprised at the controversy. It was, he repeated, meant as a joke, and he then added, “If I offended anyone I’m not sorry and I don’t apologize.”

JESSICA BADER: An obviously insincere apology is often worse than no apology at all. It’s usually done for the sake of appearances, the person or group being apologized to can tell that the person doing the apologizing is full of shit, and that person probably resents having to apologize in the first place (after all, if they were cool with apologizing, the apology would probably be sincere). But there is one phrase that’s far worse than your run of the mill half-assed begrudging apology, six words that make my skin crawl with their passive-aggressive douchiness; “I’m sorry if you were offended.” Continue reading

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Running Government Like A Business

AKIE BERMISS: When it comes to governing, I think the subject is much more complicated than most people appreciate. Its not simply a matter of laws and budgets and leadership. Nor is simply a matter of ethics and beliefs. Trust no one who tried to boil governing down to something so simplistic.

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: Rhetoric about “running government like a business” floated around nationwide during this last election cycle, but we got our own special dose of it in Michigan, where we recently elected Gateway CEO Rick Snyder governor over Lansing mayor and long-time governance guy Virg Bernero. Since the primaries, Snyder has been promising our thoroughly depressed state that he will “reinvent” it, presumably to run more like a business.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: While campaigning for this recent election season, lots of Republicans ran on a platform that involved promises to run the government like a business to get things back on track.

The point of a business is to grow and expand, but conservatives don’t want the government to grow and expand. They want to shrink it. I don’t understand how this is supposed to work, in a business sense. Continue reading

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The Coming Supreme Court Battle

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: To replace one of the Supreme Court’s five “conservative” justices, President Obama will need to find someone who is conservative enough not to rile the GOP yet liberal enough not to rile the Democrats. He may have an answer in Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit. Continue reading

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The Time Afghanistan Cover

JEREMY FUGLEBERG: Time magazine goes for the stunning, heartbreaking cover image of a brutalized Afghan woman and presents her a symbol of a clear moral choice. It’s a slick journalism move but an inaccurate portrayal of the consequences of choices in Afghanistan.

AKIE BERMISS: The last time I read Time Magazine and thought of it as a critical and probing source for news and news commentary, I’m pretty sure I was in 8th grade and doing a project on the Arab-Israeli conflict. I thought it was just awesome how Time could whittle the complexities of the situation down to a few crucial pillars of disagreement. How they singled out the key players (Arafat, Rabin, and Clinton) who would resolve it. I’d had a Time subscription for a couple of year at the point and I pretty much felt I had a complete grasp of what was going on in the world.

Trouble is, convenient as that was for a 14 year-old boy in Brooklyn, it was pretty much a fairy-tale.

ALLISON REILLY: The only problem that I have with this magazine cover is the implication that the horrific treatment of women only happens in Afghanistan and only is performed by members of the Taliban. Absolutely not true. Women are gang raped and children are kidnapped from their homes in the Darfur region and the United States has done nothing about it. Our country supports Israel, whose army destroys Palestinian homes and families, preventing these people from living a normal life. Native American and Alaskan Native women never see their rape cases brought to justice, and these people are American citizens, living within our own borders. Continue reading

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Haley Barbour For President?

AKIE BERMISS: I think its safe to say that when people talk about the 2012 Presidential Elections the questions on everybody’s lips: Who is Haley Reeves Barbour? Ok, well… maybe not. It much more likely the most people don’t really know or care to know who Haley Barbour. For those that have a modicum of interest: Barbour is the current Governor of the state of Mississippi. He is a life-long Republican who’s first job was a low-level position in the 1968 Nixon campaign. He served as the Chairman of the RNC from 1993 – 1997. He spent much of the late 90s and early 2000s as on the most powerful lobbyists in Washington DC. The guy is about a Republican as Republican gets. He’s southern to the hilt, a former lawyer, and speaks with what might be described as a folksy twang. And all signs indicate that this guy is about to make a bid for President in two years.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Taking aside the aesthetic problems Haley Barbour will have en route to the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, let’s take a look at the political realities he’d face should he mount a campaign. Continue reading

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Obama’s Not Angry Enough?

AKIE BERMISS: I’m not sure when it became the role of everyone on television to tell the President how to react in every major situation he faces, but that’s be come the norm these days and I’m getting sick of it. Admittedly, the last administration was so chock full of idiocy and blank stares that it often times seemed they were waiting to hear what people thought their reactions should be. And I’ll be the first to admit it: the Obama administration is not perfect. But NO adminstration is. And this constant critiquing of every moment of every day is getting so damned ridiculous its nearly laughable.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I get that President Obama is angry over the oil spill. Of course he’s angry! How could anyone who has heard or seen anything about the situation not be angry? What I don’t understand are the news editorials which complain about the president’s level of anger. Apparently there are those who feel that he doesn’t seem angry enough. As though somehow, if the President reaches the right level of rage, he will give a mighty roar, split his suit jacket and transform into a flaming pillar of wrath, which will then fly down to the Gulf of Mexico and tie BP’s gushing deep-water oil pipe into a pretzel, saving humanity from itself. Continue reading

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