General Colin Powell, one of the most respected public figures in America, one of the most revered Black men in the world, a longtime Republican, has again endorsed President Obama for his reelection; he wants him to continue with the work he has been doing to move the country forward.
For this endorsement, John Sununu, one of the top Romney surrogates, went ballistic. He said that General Powell’s endorsement of the president is racially motivated, which he understands as he (General Powell) and President Obama are both Black.
Retired Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, General Powell’s Chief of Staff, a member of the Republican Party, has rejected Sununu’s statement on the endorsement of General Powell of President Obama and said what he thinks of the today’s Republican Party. On the Ed Show on MSNBC, he stated: “To say that Colin Powell would endorse President Obama because of his skin color is like saying that Mother Teresa worked for profit.”
Here is the part of Colonel Wilkerson’s statement which I think these Haitian Republicans need to pay attention to. With respect to the Republican Party, he said: “My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people (not all of them, but most of them) who are still basing their decisions on race. Let me just be candid: my party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that is despicable.”
Colonel Wilkerson’s statement has made my moment. That is why when I think of the Republican Party, I think of three things: whiteness, wealth and racism.
These lunatic fringe elements have long taken over the Republican Party, causing its decent members to either leave its ranks or turn independent. Today, the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan has become the Tea Party of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul & Co.
Chief Justice Roberts, a G. W. Bush appointee, is a man of political character. His vote on Thursday morning to side with the liberals to split the vote (Yay: 5 – Nay: 4) and uphold President Obama’s health care law is historical -the true exemplification of what we often refer to as “legislating from the bench” rather than from some type of a party ideology.
As someone who was appointed to the Supreme Court by a Conservative president for his Conservative values, Chief Justice Roberts has demonstrated such a great sense of statemanship and leadership.
Just when many may have thought he was likely to side with the Conservative justices in the likes of Scalia, Thomas and Co. to slash the president’s signature legislation, he swayed the other way.
On September 22, 2005, during the confirmation fight of Judge Roberts, then Senator Obama voted against putting him on the Supreme Court. In a speech on the Senate’s floor, the senator said about Judge Roberts:
Today, the man whose nomination to the highest court in the land Senator Obama was trying to stop seven years ago is the one to have casted the historical vote to save President Obama’s landmark legislation during his tenure as President of the United States. Isn’t that something? Why did he not opt to make President Obama pay for the vote he had cast against him, which most people would have done?
People can say whatever they want, but this is indeed what you can call a functional democracy -when all the independent institutions are strong enough to operate on their own and in the best interest of the country.
The American democracy is sure not perfect, but it is working for the most part. I can only hope the people of my country Haiti can one day get to understand that strong institutions breed strong democracy.
Don’t we have a press team in the National Palace in Haiti assigned to record and report on President Martelly’s daily activities? If so, what is so difficult for these guys to videotape President Martelly’s major activities -the ceremony that took place at Toussaint Louverture International Airport yesterday morning during the President’s arrival from his hospital stay in Florida, for instance -and post them on his Facebook page, Twitter and Youtube Channel (if the National Palace has one, that is) for everyone interested to check out?
What are these guys doing in the Palace, seriously? I did not get the chance to watch the ceremony at the airport because I had some other obligation to honor. If somebody did not care enough to post on Youtube some bootleg clip of the ceremony, I would have not gotten the chance to see what went down minute by minute. Shouldn’t that be the job of the President’s press team?
Since we are talking about the President’s press team not doing its job, why does it seem so difficult for Lucien Jura, the gentleman said to be President Martelly’s spokesperson, to give a “press briefing” every morning to the National Palace Press Corps to inform the world on the President’s politics on certain key domestic and international issues?
Why do you think Jay Carney, President Obama’s Press Secretary, makes it a duty to stand before the White House Press Corps every morning to brief the world on what needs to be known about the politics of President Obama and his decisions on the major key domestic and foreign issues of the time? He does it because such is within the realm of his responsibility as a spokesperson. If he does not do it, who else is going to? You expect Rush Limbaugh, a vicious opponent of President Obama, to use his platform to do it for him? I don’t think any Obama sympathizer would want Limbaugh to be President Obama’s spokesperson. I would not.
Lucien Jura is supposed to be the mouthpiece of President Martelly. If he cannot do his job, he has no business to be kept in his function. I am sure he was hired for the job because President Martelly believed he could do it EFFECTIVELY. That choice, I presume, was not made based on favoritism. So if his performance has proven ineffective, he needs to be fired. Plain and simple!
The reason why President Martelly is constantly being hammered left and right by his political opponents is because his mouthpiece, Lucien Jura supposedly, who is to be articulating his political positions, is not being effective in his function of spokesperson.
It seems as though Lucien Jura is there to diffuse political bombs thrown at the President, not to be preemptively on the offensive. And the best way to be and stay preemptively on the offensive is to inform the general public about the FACTS -especially when your opponents are using misleading information to torpedo you. When/if you fail to do so, you leave it up to your opponents to pollute the minds of the people with propaganda politics, which will negatively impact your political tenure.
In conclusion, President Martelly’s press team needs to be more proactive and aggressive in its function. Politics is a contact sport. If you cannot play tough, do not get inside the ring, for you will be slammed and stepped on. Sadly, Lucien Jura’s ineffectiveness as a spokesperson makes President Martelly look like a punk, someone who is being bullied, trashed, slammed or/and hit and not doing anything to retaliate. This is unacceptable. I am sick and tired seeing the President being portrayed as such. Again, if Lucien Jura cannot do his job EFFECTIVELY, he needs to be let go.
Rick Santorum speaking at a town hall meeting in Lady Lake, Florida on Monday.
At one of Rick Santorum’s town hall meetings held in Lady Lake, Florida on Monday, a woman stood up and asked him this question: “I never refer to Obama as President Obama because legally he is not. [Applause] And well he constantly says that our Constitution is passé and he totally ignores it as you know. He is an avowed Muslim and my question is: why isn’t something being done to get him out of our government? He has no legal right to be calling himself president.” In return, Santorum answered: “I am doing my best to try to get him out of the government.”
When asked by NBC political embed Andrew Rafferty why he did not use his platform to correct the lady, with such a disgusting attitude, Santorum responded: “Why do you guys ask these ‘gotcha’ questions like it’s my job to go out and correct everybody who says something I don’t agree with? I don’t think it’s my responsibility. Why don’t you go out and correct her? It’s not my responsibility as a candidate to correct everybody who makes a statement I disagree with.”
I am not really bothered by the woman’s question, though, because obviously she is confused; that’s her right to ask such question. However, you have a candidate, who knows (I am assuming now) the truth about President Obama’s faith, who knows damn well that he is not a Muslim, yet is not using his leadership attribute to refute the question and make an on-the-spot correction. That’s troubling. And he said it is not his responsibility to correct the lady? Whose town hall meeting was it? Keep reading to see what John McCain did a few years back when he was asked the same question.
In 2008, during the general election campaign, I remember vividly just like it was yesterday that Candidate John McCain was asked this similar question while he was on the trail in Minnesota; before the White lady who stood up to ask him the question could even finish, he stopped and corrected her on the spot. By doing so, he acted like a leader in charge and stood for what was right.
So basically, if Santorum failed to correct the misinformation from the lady, isn’t it fair to argue that he too strongly believes that President Obama is, indeed, a Muslim? I think it is. Well, Mr. Santorum, for your information, the actual president of the United States, President Barack Hussein Obama, is a Christian; he is not a Muslim. I know you know it, so please stop the political pandering.
The difference between John McCain and Rick Santorum is that John McCain is a leader, Santorum is not. Leaders don’t do what is popular to score political points; they do what is right even when it is not popular. So America, is this the guy you want to be your next president, someone who cannot assume his responsibility and does not have the courage to stand for what is right? If so, frankly, you need to think again.
President Martelly played off the dual citizenship charge held against him by Moise Jean-Charles exactly the way he is supposed to. Asked during a press conference for his take on the allegation making believe that he is not a Haitian citizen, making him not fit to be president, President Martelly said: “Patne a tande mizik kote m te konn di ‘El unico Italiano que tenemos aqui en Haiti;’ m gen enpresyon misye fek tande mizik la epi misye di m se Italyen. Poze!”
Ridicule works in politics. President Obama had used the same card dealing with the birther movement, which Donald Trump was the leader of. He ridiculed Donald Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner and made him pass for someone not worthy being taken seriously. It worked for him in that it has damaged Trump’s political standing. Today, not even his own Republicans take him seriously. A guy like Karl Rove sees him as a disturbing joke.
In politics, perception is reality. When people have the impression that you are a clown, it is not a matter of impression anymore; it forever becomes a matter of reality, a matter of fact. That’s exactly the card President Martelly is playing, and I am urging him to keep playing it until he wins the game.
President Martelly and the accused members of his administration must NOT cooperate with the legislative commission put in place to get to the bottom of this citizenship issue. The burden of proof is on Moise Jean-Charles to prove his allegations factual, accurate and evident; to prove that President Martelly is not Haitian. It should not be the other way around. If he could say that President Martelly and certain members of his administration are not Haitian, he must come forth with all the tangible facts to corroborate his stance; it is not President Martelly’s job and certainly not that of his lieutenants to prove that they are Haitian.
Moise Jean-Charles really takes the Haitian people for a bunch of stupid and lunatic heads. I really don’t get it, though. You say you have proof that President Martelly and certain members of his administration are not Haitian, yet when you are being challenged to bring forth the facts you claim having, you submit an envelope containing only two passport numbers. That’s your evidence. If this is not laughable, I don’t know what is.
What I have found to be very appalling in this whole saga is the fact that his colleague senators are putting on hold serious matters to solve for the betterment of the people to investigate an issue which the main accuser himself cannot help to get to the bottom of. What is that telling you? I don’t know about you, but that is telling me that we are dealing with nothing but clowns in this circus we call the Haitian Senate. Could you imagine having the US Senate listening to Donald Trump and going as far as probing the citizenship of President Obama? That would have never happened because, unlike these senators in the Haitian Senate, these US senators have serious issues to worry about. Therefore, paying attention to a clown like Donald Trump would be the least of their worries.
I am urging President Martelly to stay resolute. The strategy he is using thus far is the right one; he needs to keep it all the way. He needs to continue making Moise Jean-Charles look like a socially frustrated or dissatisfied character, who has gotten to that level of lowness due to his socioeconomic upbringing coupled with a political ideology rooted in class warfare.
President Martelly has got to go after Moise Jean-Charles politically speaking. Any violent action on his person is highly discouraged. Violence is not the solution. He must be destroyed politically.
Two things any politician has going for them: trust and credibility. Once you lose them, your political life is basically over. So Martelly has got to go after him on these two core components.
The Martelly camp needs to call on its public relations experts to mount a character assassination campaign against Moise Jean-Charles. You have got to have people in the mud doing your dirty work. Have “private” organizations create ads to be published on the internet and run on all the major radio and television stations targeting him. Here in the US, we call these types of organizations Super PACs (Political Action Committees). Their works go beyond effective. Portray him as a mentally deranged individual who is willing to do and say anything to stop the administration from doing the people’s job. Doing so will have two major effects on this political faceoff: 1) it will forever damage Moise Jean-Charles’s political tenure; 2) it will put to rest once and for all the dual citizenship case.
I have no doubt that this issue will backfire so adamantly that each time Moise Jean-Charles is to make another foolish and baseless allegation, he will be constrained to shut his mouth; no one will take him seriously. He will become the laughingstock of the entire country.
America is heading in a very dangerous direction with the right-wingers –NEWT GINGRICH, SARAH PALIN, RUSH LIMBAUGH, GLENN BECK, SEAN HANNITY, ANN COULTER, etc… -polluting the minds of the people. Here are some facts:
Just a year ago, GLENN BECK called President Obama a racist. He said on Fox & Friends on Fox News: “This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for White people, for the White culture… this guy is, I believe, a racist.”
Watch this Youtube video:
RUSH LIMBAUGH, the voice of the American Right, is among the 25 – 30% Republicans who strongly and wrongly believe that President Obama is a Muslim. On his show on Wednesday, August 25, 2010, he said: “How can America be Islamophobic? We elected Obama, didn’t we? If this is a nation that is Islamophobic, how do we elect a man whose name is Barack Hussein Obama?” Click here to listen to the sound bite
NEWT GINGRICH, one of the Republican presidential candidates, had associated Muslims to Nazis. On Fox News, just a year ago, reacting to the controversy surrounding the building of the Islamic Center in the vicinity of the World Trade Center site, he stated: “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a sign next to Pearl Harbor. There’s no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.”
Watch this Youtube video:
Their agenda is twofold: 1. Use the attacks on September the 11th to demonize ISLAM and push for a WAR on the religion; 2. link the president to Islam by spreading misguided information about his faith. The logic behind the strategy is that if they can get the American people to have a negative view of Islam, calling President Obama a Muslim will automatically get the people to have a negative view of him. This is what you call incrimination by association.
On Tuesday, August 24, 2010, Michael Enright, a 21-year-old American film student, asked 43-year-old Bangladeshi cab driver Ahmed Sharif if he was a Muslim before slashing and stabbing him in the face, throat and arm in broad daylight in New York. You should ask yourself how this young student got to espouse such bitterness against Muslims.
On Wednesday, August 25, 2010, an intoxicated man, identified as Omar Rivera, entered a mosque in Queens, New York, urinated on prayer rugs, stuck up his middle finger at everybody happened to be inside and called them terrorists and all types of names.
Now, folks, this is America we are now talking about -the country that values freedom of religion and free speech. How did we get to where we are today? Since when being a Muslim was a crime? How did we get to hate people of the Islamic faith? Are we going to be walking around identifying Muslims and slashing and stabbing them?
Mr. Enright, Mr. Rivera and others got their Islamophobia from the anti-Islamic sentiment coming from these aforementioned right-wringers. You don’t walk around hurting people and expect yourself not to be stopped BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. You find peace of mind by making peace with yourself and others, not by bullying and clinging to violence.
The next presidential election in the United States is just fourteen months away, yet the battle is shaping up already. It is going to be an interesting fight between the Republican contender and President Obama, who is seeking reelection.
President Obama is in a very tough situation right now –an economy in shambles (14 million jobless Americans, representing a 9.1% unemployment rate).
The effects of such dismal economic conjuncture are beginning to be very plausible. Whenever an issue is not going well with the American people, the single most effective way to see that is by looking at the president’s approval rating. We saw that in G. W. Bush’s approval rating during and after the invasion of Iraq. As we speak, the president’s approval rating is 44%, the lowest it has ever been since he took office. No doubt, the slow economic recovery has something to do with that.
Will the economy create jobs at a faster pace than it has been to bring the unemployment rate down to at least 8% by November of 2012? That’s the buck of the challenge the president is facing right now. And the odds of him getting reelected with the economy as it is now are very slim. So time is of the essence for the president. Every second counts. Since he has his $447 billion jobs bill in Congress as we speak, let’s see if:
a) it will pass the congressional gridlock;
b) it is going to make that much of a difference in the economy.
Now, on the Republican side of the fence, whoever is going to win the primary, if that person does not distance himself or herself from the Tea Party, he or she will lose the election easy to Obama; the American people are not out to vote in office anyone carrying the colors of the Tea Party “extremists.”
The Tea Party represents the extreme right wing of the Republican Party. From experience, the American people don’t usually vote political “extremists” in power –whether it be liberals or Tea Partiers. The reason for that is because the independents are often the ones to call the winner in presidential elections.
If you have been closely following American politics, you can see that no liberals have ever won the presidency in recent history. Let’s take President Obama, for instance. In Illinois, he was a stark liberal. But for him to win nationally, he had got to move to the middle.
The liberal agenda can only appeal to the base of the Democratic Party. The same can be said about the Tea Party agenda. It can only appeal to the base of the Republican Party. So for the purpose of primary election politics, liberal talking points and those of the Tea Party can only get politicians to win primary elections. That’s it. But should they win general elections, they must move to the center.
I think Mitt Romney is playing smart and safe when he refuses to be called the “Tea Party candidate.” He knows such label, once sticks, will be a heavy weight on his shoulders to prevent him from winning the general election. Right now, since Michele Bachmann is losing the Tea Party endorsement, Rick Perry is now emerging as the “Tea Party candidate.” This could be beneficial to him in the primary, but not in the general election.
In all earnest, between Perry and Romney, as a Democrat, I would rather see President Obama run against Perry. Romney will be more of a challenge to Obama than Perry will. With Perry’s fierce attack on social security (during the Republican debate at the Reagan Library on Wednesday, September 07, 2011, he called social security a “Ponzi scheme”), I don’t see how he is going to convince the American people that he is the candidate they should vote for to replace Obama, not when, according to the Pew Research Center opinion poll released on June 07, 2011, “an overwhelming majority (87%) [of the American people] says that Social Security has been good for the country.”
Furthermore, there is a strife going on inside the Republican Party, which in my opinion is worsening the situation. There are the Tea Party Republicans (Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul, etc…) and the establishment Republicans (Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, etc…). The Karl Rove wing of the Republican Party has been working tirelessly to dim down the influence of the Tea Party which they believe is taking the Party of Lincoln to the far right of the spectrum. And if they let that happen, it will be very difficult for the Party to win the presidency. That’s exactly what the establishment Republicans are afraid of, and that’s what they are trying to prevent.
So it is a good think for Obama to see the Tea Party embracing Rick Perry, currently in the lead, according to the most recent polls out there. If Perry wins the Republican primary, he will have to make a 180-degree about-face to the center -if he wants to win the election. And when that happens, you know it will infuriate the Tea Partiers, which may cause them to stay home on Election Day. So needless to say, the Republican Party is in big trouble with Rick Perry as their candidate in line to face Obama in the general presidential election.
It seems as though President Obama has made a strong comeback, according to most polls out there. And all that is due to what he has accomplished during the lame duck session –the passing of his tax cut legislation, extension of unemployment insurance, the repeal of DADT, possibly the passing of the START treaty and the 911 Health Care bill for the 911 responders.
This lame duck session –a one-month worth of legislative work –is by far the most productive lame duck session in recent Congress history.
President Obama has done something EXTREMELY smart -he campaigned from the left, spent the first half of his term governing from the left and got slammed and crushed for that in the midterm elections, now he is moving to the center to outperform his opponents to the finish line -November 2012.
He had to bring Bill Clinton, the best political communicator and mastermind we have in the Democratic Party, to help him make the case for his move to the center. Of course, liberals did not like and approve of it at first, but one by one, they are getting on board. According to a recent CNN poll, his approval rating among liberal democrats has dropped 8 percentage points (80% in November vs 72% in December); that is understandable.
Obama is a smart dude. He knows that no matter what he does and how he governs, his base may get infuriated, but they will never turn their backs on him. So that has given him some degree of room to maneuver and go after the independents who had flocked in record numbers. The same CNN poll I cited earlier shows that his approval rating among moderates has risen 5 percentage points (55% in November vs 60% in December). Keep in mind that independent voters always decide or sway the vote. So he is doing great thus far with the independents.
The start was tough for the president, but it seems as though he has found his mojo. In the word of Hilary Clinton, he has found his voice.
The tax cut legislation has not been in effect as of yet, but I can feel a sense of optimism in the American people. How long that is going to stay is not quite certain. However, one thing I know for sure is that David Axelrod, the president’s brain in the White House, is going to make sure that the Republican leadership in the House gets blamed for not getting things done, if nothing gets done that is, so that the American people could go against them, which tends to translate in the polls in November 2012. So I have four words to say -happy comeback, Mr. President!
The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is the name coined to the policy that prevents the US military from going out of its way to reveal the sexual orientation of the closeted gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemembers or aspiring servicemembers, while at the same time banning those who are openly gay, lesbian or bisexual from serving. Not only does it prohibit any openly homosexual or bisexual person from serving in the United States military because of their sexual orientation, it also bars them from holding conversations about any homosexual relationships, including marriages, while serving.
In the event that they violate the policy and disclose their sexual orientation or engage in homosexual conduct, they will be expelled or discharged, except in the case where the conduct was “for the purpose of avoiding or terminating military service” or when it “would not be in the best interest of the armed forces.”
This policy was introduced, I must add, as a compromise measure in 1993 by President Bill Clinton who then campaigned on the agenda of allowing all Americans and legal residents to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation.
Since then, efforts to repeal it have been undertaken to no avail. If you were to ask me, someone who had served in the US military, where do I stand on the issue, I would tell you blatantly that I am more in synchrony with Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary Gates, the US Defense secretary –who called for its repeal.
This is a discriminatory, hypocritical and senseless policy; therefore, it ought to be repealed without any condition.
It is discriminatory in that it suppresses the civil rights of a group of people, and thereby creating a group of second class citizens in the armed forces. For these people -the gays, bisexuals and lesbians – to serve in the military, according to the policy, they have to basically deny who they are. Otherwise, they will be asked to leave. It is the same nonsensical policy that used to put a ban on Blacks from serving in the armed forces back then solely because of the color of their skin. It is discriminatory towards them just like it was back then towards us Blacks.
To tell them they can serve in the armed forces (as long as they want) so long as they don’t unveil their sexual orientation is to me hypocritical. What does someone’s sexual orientation have to do with being a disciplined, well-trained and professional servicemember? As someone had said before, you don’t need to be straight to shoot straight. The hypocrisy embedded in the policy does really irk me.
Since the start of the two campaigns -the Iraq war and the Afghan War –we expelled thousands of outstanding servicemembers, some of whom specialized in the Arabic language and other skills need to effectively fight and win these wars. And we did not expel them because they could not cope with the military life and culture; we did simply because of their sexual orientation, leaving the military short of skilled warriors to effectively carry out the mission. If that is not nonsensical and ludicrous, I frankly don’t know what is.
It is very ironic that most of the people who are against the repeal of the policy have never served a day in the military. Why do you think the majority of the uniformed military members agree with the repeal of the policy? It is because we are not afraid of the so-called monster they want to portray the gays and lesbians as. I served with gays and lesbians in the military; I did not have any problem with them. They did not bother me in my straightness; I did not bother them in their gayness. We got alone quite well. I found them to be outstanding human beings. In fact, we, gay and straight soldiers, because you could not tell who were gay and who were straight, ended up pulling guard side by side in the same foxholes and showering in the same shower rooms. Not once have we recorded a case where a straight male soldier got raped or sexually assaulted by a gay male soldier.
It is all about politics. To be honest with you, I don’t see what the fuss is about. It is time to stop all the nonsense and allow the people to be who they are. Just because they do not unveil their sexual orientation does not mean that they stop being gay, bisexual and lesbian. So what is the sense of having such policy? They are currently serving in the military, and they do not cause any more sexual problem than their straight counterparts do.
Today is going to be a big day for ALL progressive-minded Americans who have been fighting for the repeal of the policy ever since its inception in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. The Senate is going to vote on its repeal. Thanks to Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of CT and Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME, the Democrats have the 60 votes needed to fight any Republican filibuster. We do have the vote to repeal it. And if it is repealed, which is highly likely to happen today, that will be a major victory for President Obama because he had campaigned on the promise to repeal it.