Discussing issues that The United States face both foreign and domestic. A Non-partisan viewpoint where we believe in right and wrong not right and left, hopefully forming a more UNITED States of America.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

What a difference a year makes. On this day last year, Barack Obama was sworn into Office as the 44th President of the United States, with an approval rating above 70%. He took the nation by storm, and most thought he would bring Hope and Change to the country. This time, a year later, his approval ratings are around/below 50% with an index of -11 approval. It appears Obama realizes that campaigning is a ton easier that running a nation. The rest of the article will look at Obama's policies and actions, along with the impact they had to the country. First we will look at the positives.

The most positive impact President Obama had during his first term, which he deserves full credit for, is the handling of the Somali-Pirate situation with Americans. With the depolyment of US Navy Ships and SEALs, the Maersk Alabama's Captain held hostage by the pirates in a lifeboat was saved by snipers who eliminated the pirates. No one was killed/injured besides the pirates, and this is President Obama's finest moment in his first year as President.

His second finest moment, was his speech after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. While there may be some questions on why he got it in his first year as President, because he had to be nominated for the Prize, just days after being President, he handled it very well with his speech. He realized what the award meant to so many people around the World, and even said he wasn't sure if he deserved it. He also donated all the money that came with the prize to charity. The speech can be found here.

Another good moment was when President Obama signed the Reagan Centennial Bill into law.

Now on to the major negatives of his administration during the past year including January 19, 2010. This could get long.

Lets start off to a promise he has broken for every bill he has signed; waiting 5 days before he signed the bill into law so the American people would have time to view the bill, and give their opinion on it. Sadly, he has not kept that promise for any bill, which hurts our nation, and his credibility.

What started under the last few months under the Bush Administration, was quickly expanded by President Obama, Government Takeovers of companies. The Financial Industry, is now largely under control of our Government, 2 out of 3 major car companies are now controlled by the government, and now President Obama is about to nationalize the student lending program for kids to pay their way through college. When the government gets involved, things head for the worst in the company. Not ONE company/organization controlled by the United States, is profitable, including the postal service.

With Government bailouts, came large spending, here is a list of some of the bills that have been passed under Obama:

  • TARP: $700 Billion
  • Federal Stimulus Package: $1.2 Trillion
  • Federal Reserve Bailout: $6.4 Trillion
In his first year alone, President Obama has spent more than every other President of the United States, COMBINED. All these programs have to show for, is increase in taxes, controlling wages, and higher unemployment rates. Over 10% of this nation is unemployed with an additional 8% underemployed, essentially making 18% (or almost 1 out of 5 people) in the workforce looking for a job.

Cash for Clunkers spent over $3 Billion Dollars, and most auto dealers HAVE NOT received the money for the car trade ins, and supplies have run short because salvageable parts that could have been taken from the cars were destroyed.

Our current national debt is above 12 Trillion Dollars.

Clearly when it comes to the economy and the free market, Obama has failed miserably.

During the campaign, Obama was considered a man who was most prepared to improve our foreign relations, and wouldn't be the "Cowboy" President Bush was. Obama's first year with foreign relations includes:

  • First Interview as President with a Muslim News Channel
  • Appeases to Middle East with a Speech in Cairo
  • RETURNS a gift from Great Britain GIVEN TO US AFTER 9/11
  • Gives Prime Minister Gordon Brown, DVD's THAT DO NOT WORK in Europe.
  • Gives the Queen of England an I-Pod with his favorite songs, and pictures of himself.
If that is not an embarrassment to this nation, and our greatest ally, nothing is. Failure

Another area in the foreign relations department Obama has struggled in is Copenhagen...twice. First was the Olympics for Chicago, where he goes there and gives the "I, I, I, Me, Me, Me, Please Pick Chicago For 2016" Speech, that caused Chicago to be eliminated in the first round of voting. The second time was when he went there for the Global Warming Conference, which all they were able to do, is agree to meet at some point in the future...some crisis they dealt with. Which leads to another part of his agenda, Cap & Trade (or Cap and Tax). Just pending approval from the Senate is a bill that would take massive amounts of money from companies because of the amount of CO2 they release into the environment. Lets hope that fails reaching his desk.

The next area is Homeland Security. President Bush kept us safe since 9/11. Obama failed within his first year. Ft. Hood Shooting was committed by a Muslim Terrorist who happened to be in the US Military. We have been very lucky to not have a larger attack hit us yet, such as the failed attempt to blow up a passenger jet airliner over Detroit on Christmas. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano think it's the job of the department to respond to a terrorist attack essentially as a clean up crew, not to PREVENT terrorist attacks from happening.

The other area Obama has threatened Liberty is his appointment of "czars" that "control" a certain area without the approval of Congress, and take orders directly from Obama. That sounds like tyranny. There are at least 32 Czars in his administration, more than Russia ever had. Full List Here.

Another part of the economy the Obama Administration wants is our healthcare. The health care industry is 1/6 of our economy. A bill over 1,500 pages long, no transparency, back-room deals, and a plan that will destroy our health care system. While health care could improve in this country, Obama wants to destroy it. Lets pray no healthcare bill ever reaches his desk.

The last area we will criticize President Obama is his handling on the War in Afghanistan. It took over 94 days for Obama to come to a decision, when innocent men and women were killed during his decision time. He met with the commanding General of the fight (who Obama appointed) for 20 minutes while in Europe. The decision he makes is political. Send in a a descent number of troops for a surge, but not too many to make your anti-war supporters furious. He did not meet the minimum the General requested. Frankly you fight to win wars, not make political decisions based on them. Either go "all in" or fold is a better decision than this President Obama.

After one year, what do Americans think of these changes? A great "litmus test" is to look at elections. 4 major elections happened during his first year:

  • Virginia
  • New Jersey Governor
  • New York 23rd District
  • Massachusetts Senate Seat
On November 3, Republicans won by 20 points for the Governor, and won the Lieutenant-Governor and Attorney General positions. The first time one party took all 3 seats in Virginia's history.

In New Jersey, a heavily democratic state, Republican candidate Chris Christie beat the incumbent Jon Corzine for the governorship.

In the New York 23rd district, independent candidate Doug Hoffman (Tea-Party/Conservative) narrowly lost to the democrat Bill Owens. Hoffman crushed the liberal-republican candidate and almost beat the 2 party system. Look for him to run again in 2010.

In Massachusetts, this election takes the bacon. Massachusetts is the most liberal state in the union, and had a special election to fill the seat of the most liberal Senator Ted Kennedy. The Republican candidate, Scott Brown, defeated the democrat Martha Coakley by 5 percentage points 52-47. If this doesn't scare democrats, nothing will.

It appears Obama's policies are not that favorable to the American people, and Obama has lost a ton of support. If he does not change in 2010, expect landslide victories for the GOP in November, IF the party nominates fiscally responsible candidates who will control spending, taxes, and reduce government control on the free market. If that is the party's message, they will probably take a majority in the House, and be a small minority in the Senate.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Turkey & Israel

In an article called "Turkey and Israel share interests" by Yaakov Katz at the Jerusalem Post it mentions; the defense ministers of each nation held a press conference and that they would "remain strategic allies." The article also goes on to mention, "We are living in the same area although we do not have the same borders, we have the same interests."

In order to have peace in the Middle East, Turkey and Israel need to be allies. Having personally traveled to Turkey in the summer of 2008, it is a beautiful country, and a powerhouse in the region. It could be considered America's "dream" for the rest of the Middle East, which is a stable Muslim democracy. The United States considers both nations key allies, since Turkey is the second largest military force in N.A.TO. and Israel has always been an ally since the 1940s. It is reassuring from the article that the two nations want to be allies because recently there has been tension from the two sides.

Last year, an article by the Economist goes into great detail about how Turkey has been shifting from working closely to the European Union and "western" nations, (while Turkey has struggled to enter the E.U.) to focusing more on the Middle East nations not as friendly to the West such as Syria and Iran. One major point was when they denied US military access to invade Iraq in 2003. It also mentions how public opinion "has turned increasingly hostile to Israel" in Turkey.

In the article by Katz, it also talks about recent tensions between the two nations such as when: "Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon summoned Turkish Ambassador Ahemt Oguz Celikkol to complain about an anti-Israeli TV show. The ambassador was forced to sit on a low sofa without a handshake, while Ayalon explained to local TV stations that the humiliation was intentional. Outraged, Turkey threatened to recall the ambassador, forcing Ayalon to apologize."

I think the real reason why Turkey and Israel has shown tensions recently is because of the situation between Israel and Gaza and no peace plan has been brokered. Another Jerusalem Post article mentions that "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was mediating indirect talks between Israel and Syria, felt personally betrayed" after Israel used military force in Gaza last winter.

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict seems to be creating tension between Israel and Turkey. I am glad the original article says they want to continue to be allies, but unless a peace deal is brokered between Israel and Gaza, Turkey could align with the rest of the Middle East. If they do, Israel's relationship with Turkey would be in jeopardy and they could lose a huge ally in the region. It would also create a ton of controversy with the rest of N.A.T.O and the European Union, which I am sure the Obama Administration does not want. President Obama needs to make sure a peace plan is created between Israel and Palestine, (which all of his predecessors have failed), to ensure there is peace in the region, and continue our strong relationships with Turkey and Israel, which would also allow Turkey and Israel to continue their relationship, and be prosperous superpowers of the region.

Note: Article created for a school assignment.