…a man at peace…with himself…

It could be said that President Obama is as unpopular these days as Donald Trump.

Where Trump spews volumes of empty words, Obama speaks only when he has something important to say. Both are equally bad in the minds of some.

There’s no doubt that Trump is an egomaniac. I’m sure The Donald himself would agree…and wholeheartedly. Some say Obama is just as arrogant, holing himself up in the White House, unwilling to glad hand Congress in order to wheel and deal.

Trump uses the media, as does Obama. Don’t all folks who find themselves in the glaring spotlight of 24/7 coverage?

It’s said the back story makes the person. Trump, the real estate prodigy with NYC in his veins. Obama, the interracial child nuanced in the ways of a tropical paradise. Both, strangers to main stream USA.

Trump, in his own convoluted way, is convinced he is what America needs. So too did Obama feel the need to bring Americans together for the good of the entire country. Just as the President fell short of the mark, so too would Donald Trump. Neither man can be all things to all people.

I didn’t expect much of Obama when he took office. I was just happy to see what I thought was a good man, occupy the White House. The fact that he was raised in Hawaii, where I was born, gave me hope that the Aloha Spirit could spread to all Americans. And maybe that’s what he thought too. Islanders can be naive that way. After all, we’ve not the sophistication of mainlanders who have experienced more of everything.

The fact that Obama was the first black president was a plus. How nice, I thought, to have someone other than a white man in charge of our country.

That Obama was an academic, was even more appealing. Finally! A thinking man. A man disinclined to pull the trigger first, and ask questions later. Of course that hasn’t sat well with the trigger-happy, gun-toting bullies who want our country back up on the pedestal, our God-given right in their eyes.

For me it’s enough that Obama has accomplished what he has…saved the country from fiscal armageddon…brought a halt to health insurances denying coverage to those with pre-conditions…returned the country’s focus to the need for quality education…rid the world of Osama bin Laden…made it possible for gay partners to legally unite…resisted the clamor to send our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, into harm’s way yet again.

Yes, it’s more than likely that the future president should be a glad-hander…a back-slapper…a social drinker…someone more akin to Bill Clinton, who refused to accept that he couldn’t make friends with his enemies. Next time around, I’ll probably vote for a person who’s a schmoozer, even though I’m not crazy about having to do it too much myself. But I’m not running for president.

What I am crazy about is my family…my husband and my daughter. And it’s obvious to me that Obama shares the same craziness for his wife and two daughters. Barring a national emergency, he has dinner at 6:30 every evening with his family. More importantly, he’s moral. Michelle is still the the love of his life…and his children remain uppermost in his thoughts.

Recently I wrote the President a letter thanking him for Obamacare. I explained that earlier in the year my daughter, who dances as an independent contractor, had had a surgery to repair a tear in her bowel wall, inflicted during a prior surgery to remove fibroids from her uterine wall. Thanks to the surgeon correcting the mistake, my daughter recovered completely. Unfortunately she was saddled with medical expenses in excess of $52,000 and unable to work for a couple of months. That meant no money coming in. Thank goodness she had obtained insurance coverage only 6 months before. It paid $49,000 of her $50,000 hospital bill.

I was surprised, and impressed, to receive a letter in return. While I’m certain it wasn’t penned by President Obama, I’m almost positive the signature is his. And even if it isn’t, my words of gratitude were acknowledged.

Politically, I’m only a constituent. Personally, however, Obama and I are “ohana,” having both grown up under the same rainbow in our beloved…

…hawaiian islands.

………hugmamma.

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barbra streisand…speaks

The Movie Album

I subscribe to Barbra Streisand’s blog via The Huffington Post.

It’s rare for Streisand to take center stage unless it’s to do what she does best…sing and act. I’ve found, however, that she also writes eloquently. 

With the political quagmire in Washington having a deletorious impact upon the lives of everyday Americans, I wanted to share Streisand’s heightened concern…in her own words.

As we now enter the third week of the unnecessary government shutdown, Americans should remember the words of GOP Representative Martin Stutzman, “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” This statement reflects a cultural resentment in the land over a changing America. Maybe if the President calls and says he respects the Congressman and the Speaker, the country could move forward.

As the October 1 New York Times front-page story pointed out, this shutdown was conceived in meetings sponsored by the billionaire Koch Brothers and former Reagan Administration Attorney General Edwin Meese. The purpose was to defund the duly authorized Affordable Care Act by holding the rest of the government hostage. Talking points were prepared for members of Congress and tens of millions of dollars were spent on propaganda trying to convince Americans that the health care law was going to ruin America and end their health care options.

President Obama has provided access to health care through private insurers that will both help our economy and millions of Americans. It should be noted that the ACA was based on an idea from the conservative Heritage Foundation. The 2012 GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney signed similar legislation in Massachusetts as Governor. Our country is one of the few major industrial nations in the world that did not provide access to health care for its own people. Many have a simple, single payer system.

The opening days of the ACA showed significant demand for health care access. Perhaps the greatest Republican fear is that their rhetoric about the ACA, including government “death panels,” will be quickly proven false. When explained properly, the provisions of the ACA are quite popular. Americans will soon understand that the law provides both needed benefits, and reduces medical costs and the deficit in the long run. This is the forecast by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

There is no excuse for the obstinacy of Speaker Boehner insisting on renegotiating a law passed by Congress and deemed constitutional by the GOP-led Supreme Court. There should be an immediate vote in Congress to re-open the government of, by and for the people. Let the people see the Tea Party Republicans vote.

This government shutdown has had immediate effects. It has delayed the death benefits for survivors and associated funeral costs of the soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan. This is just the most outrageous outcome of the GOP’s actions. Embarrassed Republicans quickly tried to pass an ad hoc fix. They pretend the World War II Memorial should be open and ignore that imported seafood is not being inspected. This shutdown is also costing the American people real money — over a billion dollars so far. The stock market has reacted by shredding over 600 points, as uncertainty mounts and Americans are thrown out of work.

Reacting to polls, the Republicans switched gears and decided that Obamacare was not the issue but federal spending was. A budget sequester is already in effect cutting federal spending in arbitrary ways. The deficit has already been cut in half. Our children are now being denied placement in Head Start programs, and vital other government services, like medical research, have been curtailed. The Senate also accepted the Republican total budget number, but this was not enough. The GOP decided to fool with the full faith and credit of the United States by threatening to exceed the debt ceiling.

Apparently there were enough moderate Republicans left in Congress to pass the Senate bill to end the shutdown and pass an immediate debt ceiling extension, but SPEAKER BOEHNER, fearful of the Tea Party and its billionaire backers, WILL NOT ALLOW A VOTE. The GOP position is, “Give us what we want or we will promote economic chaos.” They ultimately want to overturn the results of the last election.

In this country, our elections are supposed to mean something for policy outcomes. In 2012, the President was easily reelected with 332 electoral votes, the Democrats picked up two more seats in the Senate and received over 1.1 million more votes for Congressional seats than the Republicans. The Republicans were able to retain control of the House of Representatives because GOP-led state legislatures redrew Congressional lines after the reapportionment and redistricting following the 2010 census. According to the latest AP-GfK POLL, the approval rating of the Congress is 5%, the lowest figure ever recorded.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich noted one of the real aims of the Tea Party conservatives is to undermine the faith of the American people that the federal government can solve national problems. Given all the voter restrictions Republicans have instituted on the state level, they hope fewer and fewer Americans are civically engaged and vote. This should particularly concern American women as it took nearly 150 years of struggle to have this “right”.

I hope enough Americans draw the opposite conclusion and hold those Republicans responsible for this orchestrated and manufactured crisis fully accountable in 2014.

Coincidentally, the Heritage Foundation, of which Streisand speaks, is funded by the Koch brothers. They, it seems, are attempting to manipulate both sides of the debate over The Affordable Health Care Act.  It’s like a chess game which they plan to win however they can. And we, the American people, are the pawns in these billionaires’ game. And by the way…it’s also the Koch brothers who fund the Tea Party, dictating the direction in which it moves.

…a good read for those seeking the truth………hugmamma.