Monday, May 4, 2009

Quick Poll Question

Americans who think that our nation is going in the right direction shot up 8 points since February and 31 points alone since October, the month before President Obama's election.

Do you think America's going in the correct direction? My answer:

Yes, but while we're taking two steps forward to that way we're also taking one step back. What do you guys think?


At May 4, 2009 at 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't we need to be considering the alternative? what if we were dealing with McCain/Palin right now? in that light, Obama looks damn good.

At May 4, 2009 at 8:21 PM, Anonymous Kootenay said...

Instead of "two steps forward, one step back", think of it as baby steps. Cultures have a lot of inertia, and changing a national mindset has to be an incremental process. People always want change to happen quickly, but these things take time. I was fortunate to learn the "baby steps" approach from a man who knew what he was talking about, and it kept me plugging along through some frustrating times. America has experienced a very slow change of direction, but now that things are moving in the right direction I think the whole world is breathing a sigh of relief. Is everything the left wants happening at once? No...but steady progress is being made, and some of the steps have been pretty big. Give your new president time, and enjoy the steps in the right direction. And for heaven's sake, talk to him! He's the most accessible president you've had in my lifetime, write to him with your opinion on important matters so that he's not just hearing from the disgruntled right! I do, and I'm not even an American, but he has promised to listen when people talk so I figure you might as well take him at his word and see what happens. You've got nothing to lose, and maybe a lot to gain.

Just my Canuck opinion.

At May 4, 2009 at 8:24 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

By 2 steps forward and one back I mean just when Obama seems to be making headway, he turns around and does something stupid, ill-advised or breaks a campaign promise.

Still, anyone with half a brain has to admit that we're vastly better off then we were 105 days ago.

At May 5, 2009 at 12:31 AM, Blogger Bukko_in_Australia said...

I'm in the "two steps BACK, one step forward" camp.

I spend more time reading economics blogs than I do political ones, because it's the money side of things that's going to determine how things go more than anything else. And I see continued bad trends, despite the current blip of good news from the stock market and banks' balance sheets.

As a newspaper business columnist pointed out today unemployment is still rising, manufacturing is still dropping, and the prices of houses are still collapsing. In the lives of real people, Americans who have jobs and make stuff, heaping lumps of shit are still being flung into the fan. The fact that the S&P Index is now positive for 2009, and some big money-changers are booking "profits" that might be accounting tricks, does not make things better for the bottom 99% of Americans. The implosion is underway.

You're an example of this, JP. You just got rolled in your work life, and there are millions more in your same leaking boat. It's great that Obama is a decent man, and some of the political decisions he's making are positive. It's also good, as Koot points out, that America seems to know it needs to change. However, I estimate there are going to be years before there's solid positive momentum.

America, and the entire world, can't keep going on the path of "buy more plastic crap now, pay for it later with an even bigger loan." When the world fundamentally changes the way it does things, to live in a more sustainable fashion, then I'll say "right track." Unfortunately, I think it's going to take a Big Die-Off before that happens.

At May 5, 2009 at 12:36 AM, Blogger Fran said...

I wish I had a quick poll answer.
But alas it is complicated.

I'm glad Obama won & I voted for him.
But that does not mean I am *drinking the proverbial koolaid*.
I am disgusted that he;s already taken 85 billion more for war, which I consider to be the elephant in the room re the budget & how Bush drove this country into bankruptcy. He was so busy getting his war on, that his administration embraced the philosophy of "if you ignore the economy, it will go away".
Not only do I hold great disdain for dumping billions down the black hole of wastefulness, but I am an admitted peace monger.
I do believe by attempting to install democracy at gunpoint, we only make things worse & create a more hostile environment.

I loved it when Obama said he would be engaging in diplomacy. But it seemed that no sooner were those words spoken, when drone planes were dropping bombs in Pakistan on the Afghanistan border.

The idea of a troop surge in Afghanistan is not change I can believe in. Besides the reputation Afghanistan has for chewing up & spitting out empires, historically, there is just no thing & no way to "win".

Besides, the big bad superpower USA has been parked in Afghanistan for 8 years.
Talking openly about a surge & knocking out the Tailban & al Qaeda for about 2 years in advance only gave them a heads up to prepare, and recruit.

All the experts say because of the rugged terrain and limited routes of travel, any military action there is doomed.

Besides, can;t we just declare bankruptcy & bow out? With an $11 trillion dollar ntl debt, we pretty are seriously out of cash.

Any money that goes to the war(s) plural, is money I consider to be stolen from healthcare, education etc.

When States slash budgets, it is because of the elephant in the room & we have got to connect the dots.

And the bullshit we see in Congress, last week they could not get enough votes to turn around the flood of foreclosures. .... but ask for war money & it's a done deal.

I was disappointed in the slowness of the administration.... shut Gitmo in a year, tax the rich in 2 years, exit Iraq, but leave 50,000 troops in place?? Not my definition of an exit.

The banking bailouts are a waste of money.... if some greedy financiers screwed up, let them take their hits.

I don't understand why the gvmnt is bailing out the automakers, they missed the boat on hybrids & electric & still don't really get it.

I want Bush & co fully prosecuted for their crimes.
They went forward with impeachment hearings for Clinton based on a semen stained dress.... are not the long list of serious crimes more worthy of the same? Bush should have been impeached in office, but let's not let him get away with murder.

I understand Obama was a brave and honorable person for stepping p to take the job at this country's lowest point & in the worst shambles.

I realize he can't fix 8 years of elephant droppings in the drop of a hat. I am willing to be somewhat patient, because i realize what an enormous burden he carries.
But I can't excuse the prolonged warring, and some actions don't match his words. Also because he promised the Afghanistan surge, does not mean it was or is a good idea.

There. Now I am exhausted!

At May 5, 2009 at 8:55 AM, Blogger Pryme said...

I think we're moving foward, but we're walking on eggshells, and everytime we step on one we stop to check our feet.

But on things like not really holding the Torture Brigade accountable, letting the banks have a run on tax-payer money and completely backtracking on gay marriage (ThinkProgress has more on that) are a tad disconcerning.

To me it the same song, really: Democrats are more afraid of Republicans than their own base, while Republicans are pretty much afraid of everyone.

Still, we're light years ahead of where we were 3 months (even three years) ago.

At May 5, 2009 at 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are some good people exhibiting great effort, but the forces pushing back are the same powerful lobbies and moneyed interest groups that have always run Washington. I have my fingers crossed.


At May 5, 2009 at 10:36 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

What really angered me (and the new Obama administration certainly is not to blame for this) was when I heard that banking lobbyists earned millions in bailout money to push Congress to not enacting stricter guidelines and conditions on banks. Basically, this means we've just subsidized the banks' ongoing efforts to rear-end us.

Overall, I reiterate: I am so glad that Barack Obama is my President. I honestly do feel as if he has the nation's best interests at heart. I just wish he was more progressive about gay marriage and other things. But it's naive to assume that any President will address your every pet cause.

At May 5, 2009 at 10:52 AM, Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

the fastest growing city in california is the tent city outside of fresno.

they'll be picking grapes there soon. if we see white folks in the fields it will be a sure sign of the apocolypse.

At May 5, 2009 at 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're on an ocean liner running full speed ahead, trying to do a 180 turn - ain't gonna happen on a dime, and there will be times when we cavitate because we're doing it the wrong way.
Also, we need to look out for the leftover mines and torpedoes dropped by the opposition, the spies and pirates in our own party, the other boats that could collide with us, and the sand spits and rocky cliffs onto which we could run ashore and splinter.

Other than that, it's smooth sailing, and I MUCH prefer the Captain we have at the helm now, to the one we COULD have been stuck with, OR one who set us on "The Reckless High-Speed Cruise to HELL"(TM) to begin with.

JP, I've been an unemployment statistic for nearly a month now, and I'm not near ready to panic yet, even though being unemployed always makes me a little nervous. (And I fully recognize that my situation is not even close to being as dire as yours; I have some savings, a reasonable mortgage payment that I split with a second employed person, and family and friends that could help me if it were to come to that.) While I search for a new position, I'm trying to relax a little, breathe, get extra sleep, and thank the FSM that we are at least making progress, however slowly, back from the brink.

Ms Wilberforce

At May 5, 2009 at 4:34 PM, Anonymous tw said...

I’m of the opinion that Obama’s done some good things, but politics is politics and sometime you have to play just to stay in the game.

What bothers me is what no one is talking about, Iraq. Violence is up to record highs for the year. One of the reasons the Surge worked was we bought off the Sunnis. Now we’ve quit paying them, the Iraqi government has quit paying them and is actually targeting them. The Sunnis it seems were the only ones capable of stopping al Qaeda and now they’ve left their posts and al Qaeda is front and center again. Both Iran and Turkey have been dropping munitions on northern Iraq, yet all we hear about is the swine flu and bankers bonuses.

Iraq’s a long way from being over and the Surge just may prove to be a Republican election strategy that morphed into a political trap for Obama. I’m just worried that he can’t walk away from it.

All that said I agree that we’re better off than we were a year ago.

At May 7, 2009 at 3:19 AM, Blogger Fran said...

Jurrasicpork wrote: I just wish he was more progressive about gay marriage

>>> That is not a pet cause it is a civil right, hard to believe equal rights have not yet been achieved in the 21st century.

Iraq~ the surge was a total troop saturation.
Sure if you flood an area with a huge overpopulation of troops you can get it under control, but the problem is the saturation level is not sustainable-- so although they dubbed the surge a success, we won;t know till we've totally puled out if it was a success or not.

In my opinion the whole illegal occupation is a failure on every level

At May 7, 2009 at 4:08 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

I never meant to imply that gay marriage was a "pet cause." It's not even a civil right, in my opinion. It is a basic human right.

Come September, we'll have at least five states that have legalized gay marriage, maybe six or seven if NY and New Hampshire join in. Then we can all work on getting gay marriage back in California again.

The floodgates have opened and if Obama was smart, he'd come to embrace this and ride the wave.


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