Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Everyone..

Here's hoping the New Year brings us harmony, health and a better economy than we have had.

I see great things happening.. I believe we have turned the corner and are on the pathway to good things with a new leader to guide us.

Now if we could just get the Rethugs to stay the hell out of the way and let us do what needs to be done, without them interfering every step of the way.. we might put this country back on the right track and really move forward.

Thanks for making 2009 a great year for me.. and here is to making 2010 a much better one for us all.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone, The President's Weekly Address

From the White House web site:

For the first time in a weekly address, the President is joined by the First Lady as they celebrate Christmas. They both honor those serving overseas, those who have sacrificed for their country, and the families that stand by them. Find ways to lend our troops and their families a home through DOD’s Military Homefront,, and of course the USO.

Merry Christmas to all of you.. I so appreciate each of you so much.. You make me feel like what I do is special and valued. Thank you for supporting my efforts and letting me know you care.

We do need to remember our Military, our Veterans and all who work during the holidays to make this country run as it does. The support staff who help them all, the people who work hard to make sure they get home for the holidays when they can.. They need to be remembered too.

I hope you will take a moment to think of them during this Holiday Season.. so Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or any of the other Holidays I might have missed, I apologize for my ignorance and hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Andrew Sullivan and Frank Schaeffer Both are Supporting the President.

Once again I am quoting from Frank Schaeffer who is asking everyone to read Andrew Sullivan. The piece Sully has in the Atlantic is really a must read, especially for all of you who are so critical of our President.

Just as Frank's piece I posted earlier was, this is an answer to some of you.. I hope you will read it with open eyes and an open mind and not be a critic. Remember, Sully until recently, was a Conservative, or that's what he called himself. In other words, a member of the GOP. He was a Reaganite. But this is what he has to say:

From Frank Schaeffer:Re Obama, responses to my pro-Obama piece, and responses to the responses.... etc. Note that Andrew Sullivan says it well in the Atlantic. So rather than go back through everything again and again for the Obama critics here it is from Sullivan. (The Atlantic Dec 23, 09).

Meep Meep, The Daily Dish

By Andrew Sullivan

My own view is that 2009 has been an extraordinarily successful year for Obama. Since this is currently a minority view and will prompt a chorus of "In The Tank!", allow me to explain.

The substantive record is clear enough. Torture is ended, if Gitmo remains enormously difficult to close and rendition extremely hard to police. The unitary executive, claiming vast, dictatorial powers over American citizens, has been unwound. The legal inquiries that may well convict former Bush officials for war crimes are underway, and the trial of KSM will reveal the lawless sadism of the Cheney regime that did so much to sabotage our war on Jihadism. Military force against al Qaeda in Pakistan has been ratcheted up considerably, even at a civilian cost that remains morally troubling. The US has given notice that it intends to leave Afghanistan with a bang - a big surge, a shift in tactics, and a heavy batch of new troops. Iraq remains dodgy in the extreme, but at least March elections have been finally nailed down.

Domestically, the new president has rescued the banks in a bail-out that has come in at $200 billion under budget; the economy has shifted from a tailspin to stablilization and some prospect of job growth next year; the Dow is at 10,500 a level no one would have predicted this time last year. A stimulus package has helped undergird infrastructure and probably did more to advance non-carbon energy than anything that might have emerged from Copenhagen. Universal health insurance (with promised deficit reduction!) is imminent - a goal sought by Democrats (and Nixon) for decades, impossible under the centrist Clinton, but won finally by a black liberal president. More progress has been made in unraveling the war on drugs this past year than in living memory. The transformation of California into a state where pot is now more available than in Amsterdam is as remarkable as the fact that such new sanity has spread across the country and is at historic highs, so to speak, in the opinion polls. On civil rights, civil marriage came to the nation's capital city, which has a 60 percent black population. If that doesn't help reverse some of the gloom from Prop 8 and Maine, what would? And, yes, the unspeakable ban on HIV-positive foreigners was finally lifted, bringing the US back to the center of the global effort to fight AIDS as it should be.

Relations with Russia have improved immensely and may yield real gains in non-proliferation; Netanyahu has moved, however insincerely, toward a two-state solution; Iran's coup regime remains far more vulnerable than a year ago, paralyzed in its diplomacy, terrified of its own people and constantly shaken by the ongoing revolution; Pakistan launched a major offensive against al Qaeda and the Taliban in its border area; global opinion of the US has been transformed; the Cairo speech and the Nobel acceptance speech helped explain exactly what Obama's blend of ruthless realism for conflict-management truly means.

The Beltway cannot handle all this. And that's why they continue to jump on every micro-talking-point and forget vast forests for a few failing saplings.

But when you consider the magnitude of shifting from one conservative era to one in which government simply has to be deployed to tackle deep structural problems, the achievement is as significant as his election year.

I remain, in other words, extremely bullish on the guy. There is a huge amount to come - finding a way to bring down long-term debt, ensuring health insurance reform stays on track and reformed constantly to control costs, turning the corner on non-carbon energy, reforming entitlements, finding a new revenue stream like a VAT, preventing Israel from attacking Iran, preventing Iran's coup regime from going even roguer, withdrawing from an Iraq still teetering on new sectarian conflict, avoiding a second downturn, closing Gitmo for good, ending the gay ban in the military ... well, you get the picture.

Change of this magnitude is extremely hard. That it is also frustrating, inadequate, compromised, flawed, and beset with bribes and trade-offs does not, in my mind, undermine it. Obama told us it would be like this - and it is. And those who backed him last year would do better, to my mind, if they appreciated the difficulty of this task and the diligence and civility that Obama has displayed in executing it.

Yes, we have. And yes, we still are the ones we've been waiting for - if we still care enough to swallow purism and pride and show up for the less emotionally satisfying grind of real, practical, incremental reform.

Again, we have to look at the big picture.. WE aren't always going to agree with everything the President says or does, but for the most part I still think he has done very well this year. Remember he has only the Congress we elected for him to work with. He still has to contend with Traitor Joe, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln and all the rest of the DINO's in the Senate.

Even with them fighting him, he has still managed to rack up a pretty impressive record.

Remember, open mind, open heart.

Oh and Merry Christmas everyone.

Frank Schaeffer Weighs in Again

I have been sitting on this for a couple of days. Frank Schaeffer is one of my favorite reads. He writes at Huffington Post and he also has his own blog. I don't read much on Huff Post anymore, but I do check out his blog. You can get there by clicking on his name above, but I am posting this article in full here.. I am also going to post Andrew Sullivan's latest from The Atlantic. It is more or less a response to Frank's and is very good. But here is Frank:

Obama Will Triumph — So Will America

Before he’d served even one year President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds -- including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious right wing agitator, now progressive writer and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader) this unlikely Obama supporter -- are sticking with our President. Why?-- because he is succeeding.

We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.

Obama’s steady supporters will be proved right. Obama’s critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst.

The Context of the Obama Presidency

Not since the days of the rise of fascism in Europe, the Second World War and the Depression has any president faced more adversity. Not since the Civil War has any president led a more bitterly divided country. Not since the introduction of racial integration has any president faced a more consistently short-sighted and willfully ignorant opposition – from both the right and left.

As the President’s poll numbers have fallen so has his support from some on the left that were hailing him as a Messiah not long ago; all those lefty websites and commentators that were falling all over themselves on behalf of our first black president during the 2008 election.

The left’s lack of faith has become a self-fulfilling “prophecy”-- snipe at the President and then watch the poll numbers fall and then pretend you didn’t have anything to do with it!

Here is what Obama faced when he took office-- none of which was his fault:

# An ideologically divided country to the point that America was really two countries

# Two wars; one that was mishandled from the start, the other that was unnecessary and immoral

# The worst economic crisis since the depression

# America’s standing in the world at the lowest point in history

# A country that had been misled into accepting the use of torture of prisoners of war

# A health care system in free fall

# An educational system in free fall

# A global environmental crisis of history-altering proportions (about which the Bush administration and the Republicans had done nothing)

# An impasse between culture warriors from the right and left

# A huge financial deficit inherited from the terminally irresponsible Bush administration…

And those were only some of the problems sitting on the President’s desk!

“Help” from the Right?

What did the Republicans and the religious right, libertarians and half-baked conspiracy theorists -- that is what the Republicans were reduced to by the time Obama took office -- do to “help” our new president (and our country) succeed? They claimed that he wasn’t a real American, didn’t have an American birth certificate, wasn’t born here, was secretly a Muslim, was white-hating "racist", was secretly a communist, was actually the Anti-Christ, (!) and was a reincarnation of Hitler and wanted “death panels” to kill the elderly!

They not-so-subtly called for his assassination through the not-so-subtle use of vile signs held at their rallies and even a bumper sticker quoting Psalm 109:8. They organized “tea parties” to sound off against imagined insults and all government in general and gathered to howl at the moon. They were led by insurance industry lobbyists and deranged (but well financed) “commentators” from Glenn Beck to Rush Limbaugh.

The utterly discredited Roman Catholic bishops teamed up with the utterly discredited evangelical leaders to denounce a president who was trying to actually do something about the poor, the environment, to diminish the number of abortions through compassionate programs to help women and to care for the sick! And in Congress the Republican leadership only knew one word: “No!”

In other words the reactionary white, rube, uneducated, crazy American far right,combined with the educated but obtuse neoconservative war mongers, religious right shills for big business, libertarian Fed Reserve-hating gold bug, gun-loving crazies, child-molesting acquiescent “bishops”, frontier loons and evangelical gay-hating flakes found one thing to briefly unite them: their desire to stop an uppity black man from succeeding at all costs!

“Help” from the Left?

What did the left do to help their newly elected president? Some of them excoriated the President because they disagreed with the bad choices he was being forced to make regarding a war in Afghanistan that he’d inherited from the worst president in modern history!

Others stood up and bravely proclaimed that the President’s economic policies had “failed” before the President even instituted them! Others said that since all gay rights battles had not been fully won within virtually minuets of the President taking office, they’d been “betrayed”! (Never mind that Obama’s vocal support to the gay community is stronger than any other president’s has been. Never that mind he signed a new hate crimes law!)

Those that had stood in transfixed legions weeping with beatific emotion on election night turned into an angry mob saying how "disappointed" they were that they’d not all immediately been translated to heaven the moment Obama stepped into the White House! Where was the “change”? Contrary to their expectations they were still mere mortals!

And the legion of young new supporters was too busy texting to pay attention for longer than a nanosecond… “Governing”?! What the hell does that world, uh, like mean?”

The President’s critics left and right all had one thing in common: impatience laced with little-to-no sense of history (let alone reality) thrown in for good measure. Then of course there were the white, snide know-it-all commentators/talking heads who just couldn’t imagine that maybe, just maybe they weren’t as smart as they thought they were and certainly not as smart as their president. He hadn’t consulted them, had he? So he must be wrong!

The Obama critics' ideological ideas defined their idea of reality rather than reality defining their ideas—say, about what is possible in one year in office after the hand that the President had been dealt by fate, or to be exact by the American idiot nation that voted Bush into office… twice!

Meanwhile back in the reality-based community – in just 12 short months -- President Obama:

#Continued the draw down the misbegotten war in Iraq
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Thoughtfully and decisively picked the best of several bad choices regarding the war in Afghanistan
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Gave a major precedent-setting speech supporting gay rights
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Restored America’s image around the globe
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Banned torture of American prisoners
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Stopped the free fall of the American economy
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Put the USA squarely back in the bilateral international community
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Put the USA squarely into the middle of the international effort to halt global warming
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Stood up for educational reform
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Won a Nobel peace prize
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Moved the trial of terrorists back into the American judicial system of checks and balances
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Did what had to be done to start the slow, torturous and almost impossible process of health care reform that 7 presidents had failed to even begin
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Responded to hatred from the right and left with measured good humor and patience
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Stopped the free fall of job losses
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Showed immense personal courage in the face of an armed and dangerous far right opposition that included the sort of disgusting people that show up at public meetings carrying loaded weapons and carrying Timothy McVeigh-inspired signs about the “blood of tyrants” needing to “water the tree of liberty”…
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Showed that he could not only make the tough military choices but explain and defend them brilliantly
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Other than those "disappointing" accomplishments -- IN ONE YEAR -- President Obama “failed”! Other than that he didn’t “live up to expectations”!

Who actually has failed...

...are the Americans that can’t see the beginning of a miracle of national rebirth right under their jaded noses. Who failed are the smart ass ideologues of the left and right who began rooting for this President to fail so that they could be proved right in their dire and morbid predictions. Who failed are the movers and shakers behind our obscenely dumb news cycles that have turned “news” into just more stupid entertainment for an entertainment-besotted infantile country.

Here’s the good news: President Obama is succeeding without the help of his lefty “supporters” or hate-filled Republican detractors!

The Future Looks Good

After Obama has served two full terms, (and he will), after his wisdom in moving deliberately and cautiously with great subtlety on all fronts -- with a canny and calculating eye to the possible succeeds, (it will), after the economy is booming and new industries are burgeoning, (they will be), after the doomsayers are all proved not just wrong but silly: let the record show that not all Americans were panicked into thinking the sky was falling.

Just because we didn’t get everything we wanted in the first short and fraught year Obama was in office not all of us gave up. Some of us stayed the course. And we will be proved right.

Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays, depending on your point of view) to everyone!

PS. if you agree that Obama is shaping up to be a great president please pass this on and hang in there!

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of “Patience With God – Faith For People Who Don’t Like Religion (Or Atheism).”

Frank may be contacted at

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sen. Ted Kennedy's Widow Weighs In, Maybe We Should Listen!

Today in the Washington Post Op-Ed section there is a particularly poignant piece, at least for me. I often think of Ted Kennedy when we are hearing these Senator's argue and fuss. When the lies are being told and when the "comity of the body" is being disturbed.

When so many this week were calling on the Senate to "kill the bill" and start from scratch, I couldn't help but wonder to myself, "What would Teddy say or do?". Now, I think we know.

My late husband, Ted Kennedy, was passionate about health-care reform. It was the cause of his life. He believed that health care for all our citizens was a fundamental right, not a privilege, and that this year the stars -- and competing interests -- were finally aligned to allow our nation to move forward with fundamental reform. He believed that health-care reform was essential to the financial stability of our nation's working families and of our economy as a whole.

Still, Ted knew that accomplishing reform would be difficult. If it were easy, he told me, it would have been done a long time ago. He predicted that as the Senate got closer to a vote, compromises would be necessary, coalitions would falter and many ardent supporters of reform would want to walk away. He hoped that they wouldn't do so. He knew from experience, he told me, that this kind of opportunity to enact health-care reform wouldn't arise again for a generation.

In the early 1970s, Ted worked with the Nixon administration to find consensus on health-care reform. Those efforts broke down in part because the compromise wasn't ideologically pure enough for some constituency groups. More than 20 years passed before there was another real opportunity for reform, years during which human suffering only increased. Even with the committed leadership of then-President Bill Clinton and his wife, reform was thwarted in the 1990s. As Ted wrote in his memoir, he was deeply disappointed that the Clinton health-care bill did not come to a vote in the full Senate. He believed that senators should have gone on the record, up or down.

Ted often said that we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. He also said that it was better to get half a loaf than no loaf at all, especially with so many lives at stake. That's why, even as he never stopped fighting for comprehensive health-care reform, he also championed incremental but effective reforms such as a Patients' Bill of Rights, the Children's Health Insurance Program and COBRA continuation of health coverage.

The bill before the Senate, while imperfect, would achieve many of the goals Ted fought for during the 40 years he championed access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. If this bill passes:

-- Insurance protections like the ones Ted fought for his entire life would become law.

-- Thirty million Americans who do not have coverage would finally be able to afford it. Ninety-four percent of Americans would be insured. Americans would finally be able to live without fear that a single illness could send them into financial ruin.

-- Insurance companies would no longer be able to deny people the coverage they need because of a preexisting illness or condition. They would not be able to drop coverage when people get sick. And there would be a limit on how much they can force Americans to pay out of their own pockets when they do get sick.

-- Small-business owners would no longer have to fear being forced to lay off workers or shut their doors because of exorbitant insurance rates. Medicare would be strengthened for the millions of seniors who count on it.

-- And by eliminating waste and inefficiency in our health-care system, this bill would bring down the deficit over time.

Health care would finally be a right, and not a privilege, for the citizens of this country. While my husband believed in a robust public option as an effective way to lower costs and increase competition, he also believed in not losing sight of the forest for the trees. As long as he wasn't compromising his principles or values, he looked for a way forward.

As President Obama noted to Congress this fall, for Ted, health-care reform was not a matter of ideology or politics. It was not about left or right, Democrat or Republican. It was a passion born from the experience of his own life, the experience of our family and the experiences of the millions of Americans across this country who considered him their senator, too.

The bill before Congress will finally deliver on the urgent needs of all Americans. It would make their lives better and do so much good for this country. That, in the end, must be the test of reform. That was always the test for Ted Kennedy. He's not here to urge us not to let this chance slip through our fingers. So I humbly ask his colleagues to finish the work of his life, the work of generations, to allow the vote to go forward and to pass health-care reform now. As Ted always said, when it's finally done, the people will wonder what took so long.

This was written by Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), is an attorney.

The emphasis is mine, because I thought they were very striking sentences we should all take note of. As I have said all along.. No this isn't perfect, but we can build on it.. Let's get this passed, get it into law and then we can add to it and make it better. That's how all big legislation is handled.. that's how this needs to be done too.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pres. Obama Today On Senate Agreement

Here is the brief statement Pres. Obama made today on the Health Care Reform agreement that was reached today in the Senate.

We still have a ways to go.. It is not done yet... But this is a huge step forward.

The CBO score is in also and it is looking good. Here is the President.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

He also touched on the Climate Change agreement that was reached in Copenhagen yesterday.

One of the things that was interesting was a note from a pool reporter that stated the President "Burst into the meeting between China and Brazil and the security tried to stop him but he wasn't to be stopped." Now does that satisfy everyone that the President can be assertive when he wants to be?

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

We Have 60! Cross Your Fingers!

Sen. Ben Nelson finally said he would vote for the Health Reform Bill.

Yes, we have 60 votes.

You can read the report here at TPMDC.

There is language stating states may opt out, states may limit abortion funds.. you can read all the details at the TPM site..

Let's get the voting done before someone else changes their mind or throws up another road block.

The President's Weekly Address The Patient's Bill of Rights and Health Reform

From the White House web site:

The President looks back to the bipartisan Patient's Bill of Rights, a bill that was defeated in Congress at the hands of special interests and their supporters, and notes that health insurance reform covers the same ground and much more in terms of giving the consumers the upper hand over their insurance companies. He calls on the Senate to allow an up-or-down vote, and for those opposing reform to stop using parliamentary maneuvers to drag it out.

I know there has been a huge discussion/argument about whether this bill would do what needs to be done... I don't know. I don't have the answers. I do know that I still trust my President. I don't believe he has sold us out, I don't believe he has failed us.. He has been involved, just as he is here..

He has made trips to Capitol Hill, numerous phone calls, had members of the Senate and the House at the White House talking to them about this, and stated over and over again exactly what he wanted. He has been, I think very clear.

Yet, still people think he hasn't done enough. They wanted him to be more like FDR, LBJ and Clinton. Well, lets look at what they got.

FDR tried to pass Social Security, he finally got it done, but it was nothing like it is today. It was very limited in scope and only covered a very small percentage of the population. Including minorities, who were excluded from coverage. There was no disability, there was nothing like what we have now. And FDR had a great majority of Democrats who were more liberal than anything Pres. Obama has.. They still passed a flawed bill and it has been fine tuned in the years since.

LBJ and JFK worked to pass Medicare... finally it was done.. but nothing like it is now. It was very limited in scope and coverage and it didn't contain anything like it does now. It was a very flawed bill and has been improved since.

Bill Clinton, threatened Congress with a veto pen.. He even stood in the Chamber and held up a pen and said, I will veto any bill that doesn't have Universal Health Care. He and Hillary wrote the bill and took it to Congress. It never reached a floor vote.

So, yeah.. let's make Pres. Obama just like FDR, LBJ, and Clinton. They couldn't get this passed. At least Pres. Obama has gotten us to the point we are voting on it. The House has passed their version of the bill, and now we are debating in the Senate and waiting on them to vote.

You may not like his style, he may not have been your first choice for President.. but he is getting the job done.

Monday, December 14, 2009

My letter to Traitor Joe

Leslie, from Parsley's Pics, came by and asked me to send an email to LIEberman about his stance on the Medicare buy in. Since he has now changed his story and said he will NOT support it, we need to write, call or get in touch with him or his office and let him know exactly how we all feel about this.

Here is what I sent to Traitor Joe through his web site.. of course like a lot of the Senators he will only accept emails from residents of Connecticut, so you either have to lie on the form or try to contact him another way.

Sen Lieberman,

I voted for you in 2000 when you were on the ticket with Al Gore. Since then you have changed and I am ashamed of my vote.

You are no longer the man you pretended to be then. A proud Democratic Senator from the state of Connecticut. You are no longer respected by your fellow citizens nor are you respected by your fellow Democrats. Is that what you want? Did you want to become an Independent so you could obstruct the agenda of this President and the Democratic Congress? You are certainly doing a wonderful job of just that.

The majority of the population in this country wants the Public Option or the Medicare Buy In.. Even YOU supported the Medicare Buy In just 3 months ago. Do I need to remind you of that? I have the video of it where you stated you supported it and thought it was a great idea.

Yet, now that the majority seems to support it, you have changed your mind. What is your problem. You are becoming either like the Republican's or it is true that you are collecting so much money from the Insurance Companies you don't care what you have to do, you will do anything to kill the Health Care Reform Bill.

I hope you are inundated with emails about this. If I have anything to do with it you will be. I am hoping to pass the word enough to get lots of people to send you letters and let you hear about it.

Thanks for doing all you can to stop something we need in this country. You are truly a Prince of a Man. /Snark Off.

Please stop and think about what you are doing. Do you really want to stop Health Care? Is your job worth it? Do you make enough money from the Insurance Companies to support you the rest of your life and to retain your reputation? I don't think so. You don't have much reputation left. People are already calling you Traitor Joe, that's going to be your name for the rest of your life after this. So go ahead, kill health care.. see how you are treated next.


I hope I got my point across to him, and I hope you will too. Take a few minutes and send him a message or take a few minutes tomorrow to call his office and let him know how you really feel.

Update On My Uncle and the State of Our HealthCare System

I guess you may have figured out by now things have approved around my house.

My uncle is home with me, so that allows me much more free time. It has been a rough month for him and anyone who thinks we have the best health care in the world.. has NEVER had to spend any time in the hospital or a nursing home.

He was in the VA hospital in Kansas City and for the most part things were fine. He developed a Urinary Tract Infection within 36 hours of admittance, most likely because he had a catheter.. which is almost normal for men it seems.

Finally, on the 18th, after 4 days, they did surgery to fix his hip. Of course they had tested him and found he had MRSA in his nasal hairs.. or Nares as they call it.. so we had to change rooms, then we had to move to Progressive Care because they thought he had a heart problem..

So, 3 room changes, 2 infections and a heart problem all developed while he was in the hospital. And this was in 4 days... lol So far the nurses were great. But I had problems with the Doctors from the moment we got to the ER and had to have words with 2 of them right away.

The ortho on call Saturday when we got there had an attitude and decided she didn't need to be bothered so early in the morning and expressed her displeasure, so she heard an earful over the phone from me.. Then an arrogant young resident who decided to stick his nose into the mix in the ER and made a very ignorant comment about it got my full wrath directed at him face to face.. Needless to say, he learned you don't mess with my family.

After the Orthopedic Surgeon heard about it.. things got a little more heated and the two doctors apologized to me for ever stepping out of bounds.

Now, I am not saying it was all the hospital's fault he developed the infections.. any of us may have the MRSA of the Nares.. that is very likely.

However, after surgery he was in PCU again and then he develops pneumonia..I feel mostly because they didn't turn him or get him up like I was taught when I worked in the hospital 40 years ago. I was just amazed they didn't.

They depended on the bed, which has an air mattress to move him enough to keep him from getting ill. Well it didn't work.

But the topper of them all.. after 2 weeks..was when a nurse came into the room with 3 syringes to give him insulin.. She couldn't get his band to scan and therefore it was showing her there was something wrong. Not only that, when I asked her what it was for and she told me, I explained to her it was too much and that she should check the dosage and verify it again. She refused to take the time and said it was what the doctor ordered. Next thing I know she popped 55 units of Lantis and 40 units of Aspartane into my uncles arm.. Normally he only takes 2 to 5 units of Aspartane. That's all.. nothing else.. and he hasn't taken that for 2 years.

Yeah, you got it.. his blood sugar went to nothing.. in about an hour he was almost in a diabetic coma. I thought I was losing him and it was the fault of a nurse who wasn't doing her job correctly. Not the system, but a nurse.

Between me and another nurse working on the floor and an aide or Med Tech as they call them now, we brought him out of it. The nurse who was assigned to my uncle that night was more concerned with the football game between Kansas University and Missouri University than she was what was going on with her patients and couldn't be bothered to do her job correctly.

She didn't follow 2 of the most important procedures in the hospital, # 1 verifying the dosage and patient identification, and # 2 listening to the patients family. Yes, she has been reported and yes, she is probably going to lose her job.

It was only 2 days after that, he was dismissed from the hospital and sent to rehab to concentrate on PT and strengthening him so I could bring him home. Well that didn't work. One of the problems I had with them was they didn't make sure he was eating. A diabetic has to eat. When I picked him up on Wednesday his blood sugar was 50, yes, you read that correctly.

He regressed so badly in the rehab, that from walking in the hospital almost unassisted, he ended up not being able to walk even short distances in the rehab. The Social Service Director at the Rehab facility told me on Tuesday she believed he was ready to come home if the doctor okayed it. So, we had an appointment on Wednesday with his surgeon and I asked him.. he was a little confused, because he stated, "Usually it is up to the Rehab, not me.. but I am okay with him going home".

Well, when we got back to the SNF, my uncle didn't want to get out of the It took a lot of talking to get him to stay one more night.

So, Thursday, Dec. 10th, I went back, picked him up and brought him home. He has improved 250% since then. In fact I have threatened to tie him down so he will stay in bed, stay in the chair and quit walking around without me being there to help him. LOL

Remember, my uncle is 84 years old. He ended up with a partial hip replacement. They replaced the ball on his left femur to fix the broken hip joint. This happened on Nov. 14th and this is his story.

I am so proud of him for coming so far, and not giving up with everything he went through. This doesn't even begin to describe the horror, the pain, the fear, the emotions we have been through during this month. I have spent many hours at his bedside because I was literally scared to death to leave him for fear something would happen while I wasn't watching over him.

That's not a joke, it is not an exaggeration, it is deadly serious. There are so many errors made in hospitals and nursing homes every day. Here is a picture of his foot and ankle, where an aide said she couldn't get his sock off his foot so she just left it bunched around his swollen ankle. When I found it, I showed it to the nurse, who in turn showed it to the director of nursing. I was assured this would not happen again. Yet it did, just a day later.

I hope you can see the picture ok.. all I had with me was my cheap cell it doesn't do a bad job but sometimes the pictures come out pretty dark.

Anyway.. I just wanted to update you all as to how things are going. Mom is doing well also. Thankfully she didn't have the problems Uncle did. But then Mom wasn't an inpatient, she had her surgery and came home. But we did have to take her to the ER for follow up pain control. So, she did have her problems.

My cousin is in rehab now too, not the one Uncle was Hopefully she will do well. They are saying she will be there for maybe a month or more, but at least they didn't have to take her foot, they did manage to save it. That was a huge relief.

Thank you all for your concern, your thoughts and your prayers for my family and I during this difficult time. We have the Visiting Nurses coming in along with PT and a bath aide to help me with my uncle. That all helps me a lot. And just having him here is a huge help, I am not on the road 2 hours a day and not worrying about what is going to happen next.. now if something goes wrong, it is MY

Thanks again everyone. You are so special and mean a lot to me.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Party of NO, has Found a Cause..

From Think Progress comes this tidbit and this is something we need to really be aware of. I would almost say it is a call to arms. All of you out there who are saying this Health Care bill is now no good, and we need to protest it.. You are just feeding the Rethugs what they want to hear.

This is what Newt Gingrich had to say yesterday when he was speaking before a crowd of people in Illinois, where he was introducing Ethan Hastert, the son of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and candidate for Illinois’ 14th congressional district. Gingrich, of course, was the architect of the Republicans’ “Contract with America” in 1994 that helped the GOP regain the majority. Now, Gingrich is apparently rallying Republicans behind a new “contract” with Americans — a pledge to take away their health care.

The emphasis is mine..but read that carefully... he is wanting to do what he lead the Rethugs to do in 1994, which was to take back Congress for the Rethugs, then when they have control repeal the legislation which gives us all Health Care... So keep protesting, keep saying you don't want this bill which isn't exactly what you wanted... Don't you realize it is the best thing we have going for us and it can be improved upon as we go along... Social Security was NOT perfect, neither was Medicare when it was first passed.. but look at it now.. it is great.. yes we are still making improvements to them both.. Health Care will be the same... Let's get the best we can.. then we can improve it as we go on...

Here is Newt's full quote:

GINGRICH: If the left manages to drive through a bill which is opposed by 65 percent of the country on health care, our commitment should be simple — when we get a majority, we’re repealing the whole thing. (applause)

And I want every Democrat who is about to sacrifice their seat for socialized medicine to understand: after you lose your seat, you’re going to lose the socialized medicine too.

He is not the first, nor will he be the last to promise something like this.. so if you and others keep on protesting what we have going for us.. and don't support what we may have.. it could get really nasty out there.

Here are others:

Gingrich is just the latest Republican to commit to repealing health reform if it passes. Earlier, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) pledged to “repeal the disaster.” Also, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) said, “I’ll be Chairman Joe Barton of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and we’ll repeal it.”

In his speech yesterday, Gingrich also exhorted Republicans to commit to “not implementing Copenhagen [global warming treaty] in its current form under any circumstances.”

He also sprinkled some hyperbolic fear-mongering into his speech. Gingrich said the Democrats’ economic agenda is “going to turn the whole country into Detroit — then we’ll all be uneducated, we’ll all be poor, and we’ll all live in dangerous places.”

Here is the video of Newt and his little pep talk just in case you want to hear it..

We can't let this happen... Call your Congress person.. Let them know you support the Democratic Plan for Health Care Reform.. Please.. Don't let the Right win this time around..

h/t Bob Cesca for pointing this out to me.

President's Weekly Address: Learning from History to Reform Wall Street

From the White House web site:

The President explains that while he continues to focus on jobs, it is also profoundly important to address the problems that created this economic mess in the first place. He commends the House of Representatives for passing reforms to our financial system, including a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and blasts Republican Leaders and financial industry lobbyists for their joint "pep rally" to defeat it.

So much for the President being in the pocket of Wall Street... This is to me great news. I applaud this mightily. However I am sure there will be the naysayers among the Left who will say it is not enough or he was paid off or something...

It seems no matter what he does it never pleases some, so he is always fighting both sides.. the Rethugs just because they can.. and the Left because he isn't who they thought he would be in their dreams.

No, he isn't.. he is the man who was voted in by so many of you... Democrats, Republicans, Independents alike, and he is trying his very best, to work with the Congress he has to enact the Legislation he can.. to clean up the mess he was left with, to fix the problems out there.. to wind down 2 wars in the best way he knows how.. one that was scheduled already and he has to work within those constrains, (Iraq, I mean) and the other, Afghanistan, just a mess that he said all along he was going to finish the best way he knew how.. If Bush had just finished it we wouldn't be there now...I firmly believe that.. and I don't believe this President wants to be involved in either of these wars.

I have followed and studied this man since 2004. I firmly believed he would be President one day.. I really didn't think it would be this soon...because I didn't think our country was ready. However I knew this country was not ready for a woman either. I know a lot of you put your hopes on Hillary and if you think she would have done any differently than Pres. Obama would have done on Afghanistan or Iran you are sadly mistaken...

We would have been in another war in Iran if Hillary was President. She was trying to get him to use force in Iran, North Korea and other places.. Bill is the calming influence in that couple, not Hillary.. and sorry folks.. we had 8 years of Bill Clinton in the White House... Yes he was a good President.. but I don't think I want him back anytime soon.. really...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pres. Obama's Nobel Acceptance Speech

This morning, before most of us were out of bed, our President accepted his Nobel Peace Prize. Controversial, yes it has been. Some have even gone so far as to say he should not have accepted it.

The money he donated to charity, the Peace award, he humbly accepted. I don't have the video, but I think in this instance the words need to be read and let soak in to get their true meaning.

There are still going to be people who won't understand and will still say he shouldn't have accepted it, but I think he was deserving and I think he accepted it gracefully and humbly. We have a President who deserves much more respect than this country gives him. People on the left and people on the right need to step back and look at this man and realize what he is dealing with and what he is striving to do. Don't criticize everything he is doing. Yes, he makes missteps, he is human.. but he is trying to clean up a horrible mess, protect us from harm and give us health care for all.

Clean up the environment, and save us from ourselves in a way, because we sure aren't helping him in many ways. If we aren't willing to change our ways, to start to help our environment heal and to become better stewards of the world we live in.

But enough of my words.. here is the President and his speech this morning.

THE PRESIDENT: Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world:

I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations -- that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.

And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. (Laughter.) In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who've received this prize -- Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela -- my accomplishments are slight. And then there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women -- some known, some obscure to all but those they help -- to be far more deserving of this honor than I.

But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by 42 other countries -- including Norway -- in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.

Still, we are at war, and I'm responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill, and some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the costs of armed conflict -- filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.

Now these questions are not new. War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man. At the dawn of history, its morality was not questioned; it was simply a fact, like drought or disease -- the manner in which tribes and then civilizations sought power and settled their differences.

And over time, as codes of law sought to control violence within groups, so did philosophers and clerics and statesmen seek to regulate the destructive power of war. The concept of a "just war" emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when certain conditions were met: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the force used is proportional; and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.

Of course, we know that for most of history, this concept of "just war" was rarely observed. The capacity of human beings to think up new ways to kill one another proved inexhaustible, as did our capacity to exempt from mercy those who look different or pray to a different God. Wars between armies gave way to wars between nations -- total wars in which the distinction between combatant and civilian became blurred. In the span of 30 years, such carnage would twice engulf this continent. And while it's hard to conceive of a cause more just than the defeat of the Third Reich and the Axis powers, World War II was a conflict in which the total number of civilians who died exceeded the number of soldiers who perished.

In the wake of such destruction, and with the advent of the nuclear age, it became clear to victor and vanquished alike that the world needed institutions to prevent another world war. And so, a quarter century after the United States Senate rejected the League of Nations -- an idea for which Woodrow Wilson received this prize -- America led the world in constructing an architecture to keep the peace: a Marshall Plan and a United Nations, mechanisms to govern the waging of war, treaties to protect human rights, prevent genocide, restrict the most dangerous weapons.

In many ways, these efforts succeeded. Yes, terrible wars have been fought, and atrocities committed. But there has been no Third World War. The Cold War ended with jubilant crowds dismantling a wall. Commerce has stitched much of the world together. Billions have been lifted from poverty. The ideals of liberty and self-determination, equality and the rule of law have haltingly advanced. We are the heirs of the fortitude and foresight of generations past, and it is a legacy for which my own country is rightfully proud.

And yet, a decade into a new century, this old architecture is buckling under the weight of new threats. The world may no longer shudder at the prospect of war between two nuclear superpowers, but proliferation may increase the risk of catastrophe. Terrorism has long been a tactic, but modern technology allows a few small men with outsized rage to murder innocents on a horrific scale.

Moreover, wars between nations have increasingly given way to wars within nations. The resurgence of ethnic or sectarian conflicts; the growth of secessionist movements, insurgencies, and failed states -- all these things have increasingly trapped civilians in unending chaos. In today's wars, many more civilians are killed than soldiers; the seeds of future conflict are sown, economies are wrecked, civil societies torn asunder, refugees amassed, children scarred.

I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war. What I do know is that meeting these challenges will require the same vision, hard work, and persistence of those men and women who acted so boldly decades ago. And it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace.

We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations -- acting individually or in concert -- will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.

I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King Jr. said in this same ceremony years ago: "Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones." As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King's life work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there's nothing weak -- nothing passive -- nothing naïve -- in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.

But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

I raise this point, I begin with this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter what the cause. And at times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world's sole military superpower.

But the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions -- not just treaties and declarations -- that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest -- because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another -- that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. The soldier's courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause, to comrades in arms. But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such.

So part of our challenge is reconciling these two seemingly inreconcilable truths -- that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly. Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. "Let us focus," he said, "on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions." A gradual evolution of human institutions.

What might this evolution look like? What might these practical steps be?

To begin with, I believe that all nations -- strong and weak alike -- must adhere to standards that govern the use of force. I -- like any head of state -- reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation. Nevertheless, I am convinced that adhering to standards, international standards, strengthens those who do, and isolates and weakens those who don't.

The world rallied around America after the 9/11 attacks, and continues to support our efforts in Afghanistan, because of the horror of those senseless attacks and the recognized principle of self-defense. Likewise, the world recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait -- a consensus that sent a clear message to all about the cost of aggression.

Furthermore, America -- in fact, no nation -- can insist that others follow the rules of the road if we refuse to follow them ourselves. For when we don't, our actions appear arbitrary and undercut the legitimacy of future interventions, no matter how justified.

And this becomes particularly important when the purpose of military action extends beyond self-defense or the defense of one nation against an aggressor. More and more, we all confront difficult questions about how to prevent the slaughter of civilians by their own government, or to stop a civil war whose violence and suffering can engulf an entire region.

I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later. That's why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace.

America's commitment to global security will never waver. But in a world in which threats are more diffuse, and missions more complex, America cannot act alone. America alone cannot secure the peace. This is true in Afghanistan. This is true in failed states like Somalia, where terrorism and piracy is joined by famine and human suffering. And sadly, it will continue to be true in unstable regions for years to come.

The leaders and soldiers of NATO countries, and other friends and allies, demonstrate this truth through the capacity and courage they've shown in Afghanistan. But in many countries, there is a disconnect between the efforts of those who serve and the ambivalence of the broader public. I understand why war is not popular, but I also know this: The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice. That's why NATO continues to be indispensable. That's why we must strengthen U.N. and regional peacekeeping, and not leave the task to a few countries. That's why we honor those who return home from peacekeeping and training abroad to Oslo and Rome; to Ottawa and Sydney; to Dhaka and Kigali -- we honor them not as makers of war, but of wagers -- but as wagers of peace.

Let me make one final point about the use of force. Even as we make difficult decisions about going to war, we must also think clearly about how we fight it. The Nobel Committee recognized this truth in awarding its first prize for peace to Henry Dunant -- the founder of the Red Cross, and a driving force behind the Geneva Conventions.

Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. (Applause.) And we honor -- we honor those ideals by upholding them not when it's easy, but when it is hard.

I have spoken at some length to the question that must weigh on our minds and our hearts as we choose to wage war. But let me now turn to our effort to avoid such tragic choices, and speak of three ways that we can build a just and lasting peace.

First, in dealing with those nations that break rules and laws, I believe that we must develop alternatives to violence that are tough enough to actually change behavior -- for if we want a lasting peace, then the words of the international community must mean something. Those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price. Intransigence must be met with increased pressure -- and such pressure exists only when the world stands together as one.

One urgent example is the effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and to seek a world without them. In the middle of the last century, nations agreed to be bound by a treaty whose bargain is clear: All will have access to peaceful nuclear power; those without nuclear weapons will forsake them; and those with nuclear weapons will work towards disarmament. I am committed to upholding this treaty. It is a centerpiece of my foreign policy. And I'm working with President Medvedev to reduce America and Russia's nuclear stockpiles.

But it is also incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system. Those who claim to respect international law cannot avert their eyes when those laws are flouted. Those who care for their own security cannot ignore the danger of an arms race in the Middle East or East Asia. Those who seek peace cannot stand idly by as nations arm themselves for nuclear war.

The same principle applies to those who violate international laws by brutalizing their own people. When there is genocide in Darfur, systematic rape in Congo, repression in Burma -- there must be consequences. Yes, there will be engagement; yes, there will be diplomacy -- but there must be consequences when those things fail. And the closer we stand together, the less likely we will be faced with the choice between armed intervention and complicity in oppression.

This brings me to a second point -- the nature of the peace that we seek. For peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based on the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.

It was this insight that drove drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the Second World War. In the wake of devastation, they recognized that if human rights are not protected, peace is a hollow promise.

And yet too often, these words are ignored. For some countries, the failure to uphold human rights is excused by the false suggestion that these are somehow Western principles, foreign to local cultures or stages of a nation's development. And within America, there has long been a tension between those who describe themselves as realists or idealists -- a tension that suggests a stark choice between the narrow pursuit of interests or an endless campaign to impose our values around the world.

I reject these choices. I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear. Pent-up grievances fester, and the suppression of tribal and religious identity can lead to violence. We also know that the opposite is true. Only when Europe became free did it finally find peace. America has never fought a war against a democracy, and our closest friends are governments that protect the rights of their citizens. No matter how callously defined, neither America's interests -- nor the world's -- are served by the denial of human aspirations.

So even as we respect the unique culture and traditions of different countries, America will always be a voice for those aspirations that are universal. We will bear witness to the quiet dignity of reformers like Aung Sang Suu Kyi; to the bravery of Zimbabweans who cast their ballots in the face of beatings; to the hundreds of thousands who have marched silently through the streets of Iran. It is telling that the leaders of these governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation. And it is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make clear that these movements -- these movements of hope and history -- they have us on their side.

Let me also say this: The promotion of human rights cannot be about exhortation alone. At times, it must be coupled with painstaking diplomacy. I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach -- condemnation without discussion -- can carry forward only a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.

In light of the Cultural Revolution's horrors, Nixon's meeting with Mao appeared inexcusable -- and yet it surely helped set China on a path where millions of its citizens have been lifted from poverty and connected to open societies. Pope John Paul's engagement with Poland created space not just for the Catholic Church, but for labor leaders like Lech Walesa. Ronald Reagan's efforts on arms control and embrace of perestroika not only improved relations with the Soviet Union, but empowered dissidents throughout Eastern Europe. There's no simple formula here. But we must try as best we can to balance isolation and engagement, pressure and incentives, so that human rights and dignity are advanced over time.

Third, a just peace includes not only civil and political rights -- it must encompass economic security and opportunity. For true peace is not just freedom from fear, but freedom from want.

It is undoubtedly true that development rarely takes root without security; it is also true that security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine and shelter they need to survive. It does not exist where children can't aspire to a decent education or a job that supports a family. The absence of hope can rot a society from within.

And that's why helping farmers feed their own people -- or nations educate their children and care for the sick -- is not mere charity. It's also why the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, more famine, more mass displacement -- all of which will fuel more conflict for decades. For this reason, it is not merely scientists and environmental activists who call for swift and forceful action -- it's military leaders in my own country and others who understand our common security hangs in the balance.

Agreements among nations. Strong institutions. Support for human rights. Investments in development. All these are vital ingredients in bringing about the evolution that President Kennedy spoke about. And yet, I do not believe that we will have the will, the determination, the staying power, to complete this work without something more -- and that's the continued expansion of our moral imagination; an insistence that there's something irreducible that we all share.

As the world grows smaller, you might think it would be easier for human beings to recognize how similar we are; to understand that we're all basically seeking the same things; that we all hope for the chance to live out our lives with some measure of happiness and fulfillment for ourselves and our families.

And yet somehow, given the dizzying pace of globalization, the cultural leveling of modernity, it perhaps comes as no surprise that people fear the loss of what they cherish in their particular identities -- their race, their tribe, and perhaps most powerfully their religion. In some places, this fear has led to conflict. At times, it even feels like we're moving backwards. We see it in the Middle East, as the conflict between Arabs and Jews seems to harden. We see it in nations that are torn asunder by tribal lines.

And most dangerously, we see it in the way that religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the great religion of Islam, and who attacked my country from Afghanistan. These extremists are not the first to kill in the name of God; the cruelties of the Crusades are amply recorded. But they remind us that no Holy War can ever be a just war. For if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint -- no need to spare the pregnant mother, or the medic, or the Red Cross worker, or even a person of one's own faith. Such a warped view of religion is not just incompatible with the concept of peace, but I believe it's incompatible with the very purpose of faith -- for the one rule that lies at the heart of every major religion is that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Adhering to this law of love has always been the core struggle of human nature. For we are fallible. We make mistakes, and fall victim to the temptations of pride, and power, and sometimes evil. Even those of us with the best of intentions will at times fail to right the wrongs before us.

But we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached -- their fundamental faith in human progress -- that must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.

For if we lose that faith -- if we dismiss it as silly or naïve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace -- then we lose what's best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass.

Like generations have before us, we must reject that future. As Dr. King said at this occasion so many years ago, "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present condition makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him."

Let us reach for the world that ought to be -- that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. (Applause.)

Somewhere today, in the here and now, in the world as it is, a soldier sees he's outgunned, but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protestor awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's dreams.

Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed, we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

The emphasis here is mine. I felt those passages were some that needed to be really looked at and read by all.. Please take the few minutes and read this.. He really says what he believes and feels in this speech.. We have to remember above all else, he is the Commander in Chief... He has the responsibility of the entire nation in his hands.. he has more information at his grasp than we will ever have. We have to trust him when he says there is a threat. That's the info he has.. we don't have that.. If it is false.. then I am sure heads will roll.. But just a little while ago.. 5 people, all US citizens were arrested in Pakistan for trying to join
al-Qaeda. There is still a threat.. In Iraq there was a bombing that al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed credit for.

These are things we were warned about long ago.. that when the troops starting leaving Iraq the attacks would gear up..

We just have to trust.. I know it is hard.. after 8 years of being lied to.. it is very hard.. but we have to learn to trust this man we all worked to get into the White House. Give him a chance.. So far I think he has done very well.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

President's Weekly Address: Pushing Forward on Jobs

From the White House web site:

Following the best jobs numbers since 2007, the President recognizes that such trends are cold comfort to those who are struggling and pledges to continue pushing forward towards positive job growth. President Obama looks back at the Jobs Forum he hosted days before and looks ahead to further action. He emphatically restates why he ran for President in the first place: "to fight for a country where responsibility is still rewarded, and hard-working people can get ahead."

I really don't have much to say about this.. I think the President has said it all. How anyone and I do mean ANYONE, can attack this man and say he has not done enough to help the jobs front is just asinine. From the moment he came into office he has done everything he can to help people with their jobs. From Lily Ledbetter to the Recovery Act, it has all been about jobs and helping people.

Sorry, I have just been in a horrible mood lately and listening to the right attack him when the job numbers just keep getting better, and then reading some of the blogs on the left and they are attacking him for jobs, for the war in Afghanistan and everything else just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.