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Archive for Friday, June 6, 2014

Saturday Column: Obama will use all means to push change agenda

June 6, 2014

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What kind of an example is President Obama setting by the manner in which he is running this country? In his initial campaign for the presidency, he pledged some of the hallmarks of his administration would be openness, transparency, a desire to work with all members of Congress, honesty, accuracy and a clean-up of the abuses of the Bush years in the White House.

Also, he pledged, if elected, to bring about “fundamental” changes in this country.

He has missed on most all of these promises about openness, transparency, honesty and working with Congress, but has followed through on his pledge to make, or try to make, fundamental changes in this country — not necessarily good changes, better changes or changes that strengthen the nation, but changes that have weakened Uncle Sam’s position of leadership and respect throughout the world, placed this country further in debt and rammed a health care plan through Congress using phony promises about patient care, doctors, the cost of medicine and many other facets of the plan.

Putting partisan politics aside, all Americans — Democrats, Republicans or independents — would like to have their president looked upon as an individual who stands for the best, the very best, in honesty, integrity and commitment to a strong, powerful nation. They hope their president conducts himself in a manner that justifies respect, regardless of whether they support his particular view or actions on controversial issues.

The president of the United States should be, by far, the best president or leader of any country in the world, setting standards for others to try to match.

Partisan politics is a rough, bare-fisted business, but some of the players and elected leaders are able to maintain a clean, honest image while others succumb to the darker side of elective politics.

Since Obama moved into the White House, the public has seen nothing but hardball politics, policies and actions based on what would win the most votes, how to get more Americans hooked on federal subsidies, beholden to the federal government for coverage of their daily existence.

History is likely to show Obama used some degree of caution in carrying out his “fundamental” changes in America in his first years in the Oval Office, but the Obama machine put together a magnificent, well-financed election organization to give him another four years in the White House. In his second term, he has been free to give his full attention to changing the country. This he has done, and it appears his game plan calls for him to get his way, what he wants, by whatever means necessary, regardless of whether it means breaking the law, bypassing Congress or misleading or even lying to the public.

A few examples: Obamacare, the actions of Internal Revenue Service people to target politically conservative organizations, the manner in which he handled the Benghazi tragedy, White House and State Department spokespeople lying about the Benghazi affair, the use of executive powers to bypass Congress, the current Veterans Administration hospital situation (when during his first presidential campaign, he pledged to clean up the VA), using the Environmental Protection Agency to kill the coal industry through Obama’s carbon emissions plan, and, just recently, the manner by which he bypassed laws that required him to inform members of Congress that he intended to release Guantanamo prisoners. He released five senior terrorists, supposedly to gain the freedom of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier who fellow platoon members say is a deserter. Obama, however, held a Rose Garden press event for Bergdahl’s parents, and his national security adviser claimed Bergdahl had served with honor and distinction.

Earlier this week the Obama team called a top secret meeting for members of Congess to give them the background and details of the Bergdahl affair. At the same time, members of Bergdahl’s squad told of their first-hand experiences with Bergdahl. Later that night, several lawmakers who attended the closed meeting were asked whether what they were told rang true with what the soldiers’ reported. They said they were told nothing that confirmed the first-hand reports.

Obviously, someone is lying: the soldiers or the Obama team.

This is why the upcoming congressional elections are so important. In many cases, most cases, Democrats running for office have been strong, generous, active supporters and workers for Obama but now are trying to distance themselves from the president.

The tactic may work for some, but chances are good if these former Obama workers and supporters win their elections, they will quickly revert to their former support and adulation of the smooth-talking Obama and his social, fiscal, environmental and military agenda. Zebras cannot change their stripes.

The actions and policies of Obama over the past eight years should provide a good road map of what he will try to accomplish in the final two years of his presidency when he doesn’t have to worry about being re-elected.

He can, and is sure to, use his executive powers more often in the next two years. This is why it is important for the country, at least the traditional United States, that Congress is not in his hip pocket and that the majority of state capitol offices remain in the hands of strong, fiscally sound men and women who are not used as rubber stamps for Obama policies.

Comments

Richard Heckler 6 months, 3 weeks ago

What did the GOP and BUSHCO regime do? Put forth more tax cuts for the 1% while starting a war and creating monster new demands for the VA = dumb beyond reality. Unfortunately the GOP remain primary obstacles to rectifying the VA situation as the wars continue to create MORE disabled vets.

--- GOP to get a second chance to do right by veterans - keep a close eye on these flag wavers. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/senate-get-second-chance-do-right

--- Vet Group Come Out Against GOP http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/04/veterans-ad-mitch-mcconnell_n_5447576.html Vet groups have come also against John McCain and the GOP in general numerous times for basically throwing them under the bus.

The problems currently surrounding the country’s Veterans Affairs (VA) department predated both President Barack Obama and were fueled in part by Republican budget cuts and inaction.

--- March 2003 — the same month the U.S. began its second war against Iraq — the GOP-led House of Representatives approved a budget cutting $14 billion from the VA’s budget. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/21/maddow-slams-republicans-for-complaining-about-va-scandal-after-passing-budget-cuts/

Meanwhile …. When think tanks put out numbers that the VA budget increased by what looks to be a large percent number we must ask ourselves AFTER how many preceding budget cuts?

New vets have been coming on line for 34 years too many needing lifetime care and disability pay that also covers their dependents.

Who Has Failed Our Vets? The GOP and GW Bush Turned Their Backs on USA Veterans = typical.The Bush administration was aware of the backlogs and secret waiting lists but failed to fix the problem.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/veterans-affairs-backlogs-waiting-lists-george-bush

Richard Heckler 6 months, 3 weeks ago

ALEC GOP is using Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to win back the WH and congress = sick

We citizens must not realize to what degree the right wing will go to win the white house and both houses of congress back which would be the ultimate nightmare and is mentally unbalanced.

What important fact remains true through all of this? It is illegal to hold people in jail locked up behind bars without criminal charges. It is illegal to hold people without charges for week,a month or a few months without charges.

Perhaps not in mainstream media there has been a ton of discussion from legal minds across the USA on this very issue. Holding anyone without charges is illegal.

In essence there are sooooo many in congress aka lawmakers who were supporting this nonsense which makes them supporters of law breaking.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl being gone for 5 years without charges is quite telling. And he was being held hostage not exactly a picnic.

Too many people in congress are being stupid and uninformed about this and sucking too many USA citizens into this web of nonsense.

We citizens must not realize to what degree the right wing will go to win the white house and both houses of congress back which would be the ultimate nightmare.

And while in detention many prisoners were subject to torture another illegal activity.

The reason they were still being held without charges is because there is no evidence available to substantiate charges. There are plenty of legal minds representing that very issue.

Richard Heckler 6 months, 3 weeks ago

"the actions of Internal Revenue Service people to target politically conservative organizations"

This is a lie. The IRS was reviewing tax exempt organizations across the board. If some so called conservative organizations were found to be in violation they should be prosecuted. And their tax exempt status should cancelled.

Frankly no political think tank,Political Action Committee or any contributor making contributions to political campaigns should receive tax exempt status. No campaign contribution across the board should be tax exempt !

Richard Heckler 6 months, 3 weeks ago

AS for the GOP Sam Brownback is interfering with people's right to vote and taking down the Kansas economy in a curious yet orchestrated fashion. Sam Brownback is wanting to put Kansas government up for sale to private industry. Yes Sam Brownback does know what he is doing which is wrong beyond belief.

There are other right wing governors following the same orchestrated guidelines as we speak.

Source of the guidelines:

--- http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures#Voter

--- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-van-roekel/exposing-alecs-agenda-to-_b_3223651.html

--- United States of ALEC - Bill Moyers http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/27/the_united_states_of_alec_bill

--- http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/06/10/242334/john-birch-society-celebrates-koch/

--- The consulting firm Aegis Strategic plans to handpick local, state, and federal candidates who share the Koch Political Empire Agenda politics.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/koch-brothers-candidate-training-recruiting-aegis-strategic

Richard Heckler 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Now which party brought us Watergate illegal wire tapping? Nxion the Republican.

Now which party brought us the illegal weapons deal using Iran as the good guys? Reagan/Bush the republicans.

Which party brought us the first home loan scandal using the savings and loan industry? Reagan/Bush republicans.

The first home loan scandal worked so well meaning some people made a ton of money why not try it again. Here comes Bush/Cheney to meet that demand. Yes again the republican party.

Who lied to the world about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to start yet another war in oil heaven? Yep Bush/Cheney still the republican party.

And who introduced the New World Order Global Economy that would present USA jobs as the chief USA export ? Yes you guessed it again Reagan/Bush of the republican party.

Has the USA recovered from any of the above? No

Thomas Bryce 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Sorry Dolph. It obviously bugs you that Rich, Old, White men are a Minority in this country now. Doesn't matter if you own your own Paper or how much money you have. You Still get 1 vote, just like the rest of us! We are Looking forward to the November Elections. Are You?

Julius Nolan 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Dolph's usual Saturday column. Always attacks Obama or KU.

Phil Minkin 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Dolph fails to aknowledge the fierce partisan opposition to anything Obama proposed, even to the point of reversing previous positions.

Kathleen Ammel 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Obama hasn't changed anything in Washington but has instead doubled down on everything already there. He renewed the Patriot Act & signed into law the NDAA where anyone can be unlawfully detained without criminal charges. instead of ending the wars, he has escalated them killing civilians with drone strikes, including a teenage US citizen, now.
If this must be an argument couched in terms of parties, it's time both parties cleaned up their own acts and stop blaming the other.
Or is this really about party?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Boy, Phil, did you ever hit the nail on the head. The Koch Regime House Organ and it's owner (Dolph Simons) are firmly in line with the dysfunctional governor and secretary of state in Kansas and continue to express their total opposition to anything the lawfully elected President of the United States proposes or attempts to do.

Richard Payton 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Dianne Feinstein, Senator is even dismissing the White House story on Sgt, Bowe Bergdahl that his life was in imminent danger. Politico and New York Daily News both confirm the above statement. She was upset that the President would keep her out of the loop. The Affordable Care Act surpassed it's sign up numbers but recently it was announce 1 in 4 sign ups through the exchange have data errors. Seems the errors are in citizenship claims, illegals signing up and financial data errors. The Administration said it would focus on the illegals signing up because the law doesn't allow that. The Republican party said they would come up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. That is a lie because no plan has been mentioned and from what I understand they haven't even started an alternative plan.

James Howlette 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey kids, stay in school and stay off the Fox News.

Mike Ford 6 months, 3 weeks ago

When operating a newspaper in an economic environment as challenging as it is now one must learn to repeat the same nonsense over and over to generate traffic on his website as his newspaper lays off people, ships production of the newspaper to KC, and has job ads every couple months of so because this job is sooooooo secure. All of the points??? made above are just repeated nonsense and reek of grasping at readership. How can one work with a congress ran by a willfully ignorant GOP House of Representatives that reminds me of a toddler that has set on the ground since 2010 yelling no over and over in the midst of an extended temper tantrum? How does one ignore that historically this country has done prisoner swaps many times and if I had to deal with these GOP children I wouldn't have told them either. How does the GOP House get away with blaming this administration for all this nonsense when this GOP House knows no other word besides no? Civics lesson for Mr. Simons and the rest of the clueless Kansas populace.......the US Congress proposes legislation and funds everything by appropriation and the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution powers assigned to them. If these GOP children decide not to fund appropriations bills providing security detail at an embassy in Libya how is that a president's problem? it's not. If the GOP over decades refuses to fund the VA at appropriate levels and then starts wars based on lies and sends the National Guard to do the Army's job to save money and then has a sizable contingent of returning veterans and is still underfunding the VA how is this the president's problem? it's not. I remember one of the wonderful GOP solutions of the past when then President Hoover sent future US General McArthur to attack American veterans of the First World War who'd set up Hoover Shanty towns as the "Bonus Army" near the Potomac River and DC because they dare ask that administration to live up to the financial promises made to these soldiers when the went to the Great War in 1917-18. As woefully clueless as the GOP constituency is when it comes to empirical history it becomes easy to mislead them in the race for Fauxnews to create controversy when it's the GOP to blame to begin with. If one is elected and paid almost $200k a year to represent us then it should be the goal of such a political body to actually do work and pass bills that aren't insane in nature or funded by industry or think tank lobbying groups hiding in the curtains that Citizens United created. Someone needs to pop the balloon of nonsense the House GOP and GOP party created and make them own their failure publically.

Scott Burkhart 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I find it hilarious the willful ignorance that appears on the comments. You attack FoxNews as if they are making all of this up. I have never heard another president defend his policy with excuses that they heard about it on the news. All the while, Richard Heckler is pointing to President Bush to blame all of the ills of the country. I have see several proposals by the GOP that involves fixing and not repealing the ACA but Harry Reid won't let anything come to the floor of the Senate for a vote. So to say that the GOP has nothing is wrong.

Mike Ford 6 months, 2 weeks ago

fauxnews does makes things up and what's funnier is that you believe the fibs. My father was a chaplain at the Topeka VA in the early 1990's and even two decades ago the VA was underfunded. In all honesty President Obama's job is not to make dittoheads happy. Buying insurance across state lines and creating health savings accounts........REALLY?????? this idea which I've heard many dittoheads suggest reminds me of a college student who turns in the wrong assignment two days late and still wants to be taken seriously. Empirically the GOP is racing out the equivalent of two day old leftovers and expecting no one to laugh them out of the room. Sorry, I'm LOL even more than when I watch John Stewart. I have to give the GOP credit for the best amnesia ever......you all run W out of the room and let teapartiers make up stuff and hurl false outrage at even more made up stuff all the while appearing like total buffoons in public. How any of you can say six years of hardly anything done is the President's fault? NO is your favorite word if I remember all of the times I've heard it.

Seth Peterson 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Scott commenting on willful ignorance....now that's funny.

Also, a head's up Faux News does make most of it up.

Carol Bowen 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Scott,

" I have see several proposals by the GOP that involves fixing and not repealing the ACA but Harry Reid won't let anything come to the floor of the Senate for a vote. So to say that the GOP has nothing is wrong."

I haven't been following the news lately. What GOP proposals to fix the ACA are you referring to?

Richard Heckler 6 months, 2 weeks ago

The failure was in the day BUSHCO chose to ignore advice from the military which was don't go into Iraq. They did not want two wars at one time. Then BUSHCO decided to take on Pakistan and others = dumb.

Why didn't BUSHCO begin increasing the VA budget and VA Staff throughout the USA the day he decided to invade Afghanistan? Wars have forever produced vets and disabled vets. What the hell was BUSHCO thinking….. or maybe he wasn't?

VA hospitals and clinics don't increase with a new war yet demand always does. Shall taxpayers begin funding new VA facilities across the nation? 50,000 new disabled vets and counting is a lot of new demand and treating for toxic exposure to radioactive dust will be a huge expense. In addition to all other critical injuries.

What the hell was BUSHCO thinking….. or maybe he wasn't?

Darrell Lea 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Dear Mr. Simons - I support President Obama and his agenda. You should too. I suggest you take some time to research what his positions actually are, and spend a few moments outside the right wing echo chamber and bubble. The fresh air might do you good.

Have a nice day.

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