A new development in Obama’s “transparency” site was confirmed today for those that weren’t already suspect.  Administration officials have announced that the recovery.gov stimulus tracking site will not have any details available on contracts and grant available until October at the earliest…and could be pushed back as far as Spring 2010.  The reasoning behind this lag time screams of incompetency at best and ‘I don’t want to even go there’ at worst.  Some of the excuses offered included the time it will take to prepare the info for the site as well as not having enough “data storage capacity”.

President Obama made several promises not just during his campaign, but during the first 100 days of his administration that were on the subject of transparency.  One of the biggest and most widely touted of these promises was to enable citizens to “track every dime” of the $787 billion outlined in the bill.  At this point, an interested party can see how much money was given to each state from the federal government and from there find out how much will be allocated to each city, but that is as far down the line as it goes.  There are few projects that spending data is available on and the names of contractors are unavailable at this point.

What happened to the “new era” of “transparency”?  So far this is business as usual with a left leaning twist and Chicago politics thrown in for good measure.  Will Obama be held accountable for this issue, or will he step back and let someone else take the blame (i.e. Air Farce One skimming downtown Manhattan)?  Will the media question him on this matter and hold his feet to the fire, unrelenting until a REAL answer is given?  Or will they continue with their “enchanting” question lines and maybe ask him what his favorite part of the recovery.gov site is….or maybe if he is enthralled with the color scheme?

Uh oh.  Here it comes….it’s the time when Chairman Obama is going to start making the 9th Circuit Court look moderate, but this time it is going to be the Supreme Court of The United States!

Word has all but been confirmed that Justice David Souter, one of the more liberal Justices on the SCOTUS plans on retiring after this session.  He claims that while he loves his job, he hates Washington D.C.  Well I cant say as though I blame him on that front, but I think that his stepping down has more to do with timing that anything.  He has stated that he doesn’t like the city and has wanted to leave it for a few years now and while I don’t doubt that part, the part I doubt is that this didn’t have anything to do with Obama’s election.  Here it is 102 days into the new Administration with the SCOTUS having been in session for a couple of weeks now and BAM….NOW just happens to be the time to hang up his hat.

While under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be sad to see Souter go, I am actually more concerned about who might replace him.  It is kind of the “better the devil you know” philosophy.  So now it is Obama’s chance…what is he going to do with it?  More importantly, is he going to get what/who he wants?  If so, how?

If we look back to 2006, Obama was one of the loudest Senators calling for the filibuster of then nominee Samuel Alito.  There were a couple of noteworthy remarks that he made in favor of this action, but a few of them still stand out.  Also, the reasoning behind Obama’s support for a filibuster range from populist liberal thinking, all the way to down right ironic…

One of Obama’s major claims for supporting the filibuster of this particular nominee, was that he believe that Alito wouldn’t set firm limits on presidential authority.  Obama was very “concerned” about the issues of wiretapping and other liberal-flamed controversies over the War on Terror.  Then Senator Barack did not believe that Alito would basically prevent giving the President authority over such matters.  Now THAT is irony.  This is coming from the same person that bodyslammed the idea of redaction and state secrets….only to use it himself when given the “white-out”.  Do you think that he is still against ANY President having those authorities?  Me thinks not.

When it came to announcing that he had every intention of voting against Alito, Obama wasn’t shy.  He also claimed to want to filibuster the then nominee, but was “worried” that there were not enough votes to do so.  Even so, he stated that “It’s really a question whether I vote against Judge Alito once or twice”, saying that if there wasn’t a filibuster it would only be one vote against, but if there was a filibuster then he would vote against again.  So now that it is his turn up at bat, where does the President stand?

I would say that Obama is in “good” company when speaking of favoring the filibustering of Alito, but I think that the more appropriate word would be “obvious” company.  The fact of the matter is, that not only did Obama favor a filibuster…but Vice President Biden and Secy of State Clinton did as well!!!  Not that we didn’t already know that Barack was surrounding himself with liberals, but he has also surrounded himself with ideologically like minded liberals.

Then Senator Clinton ripped into Alito and supported a filibuster, even though there wasn’t enough votes to sustain one, saying ““History will show that Judge Alito’s nomination is the tipping point against constitutionally-based freedoms and protections we cherish as individuals and as a nation”.  Now that doesn’t sound very moderate or bipartisan to me…how bout you?  Why did Clinton state support for a filibuster?  Because John Kerry declared that he was bringing back the “Stop Alito Movement” and because she claimed to have shifted so to the center on abortion, she couldn’t have a possible opponent in the Presidential Primaries of 2008 out “liberal” her and steal support out from under her from the left.

While he initially stated that the instance of an Alito filibuster was unlikely, then Senator Biden added fuel to the talks of the possibility.  He claimed that he didn’t agree with Alito’s views of reapportionment, claiming that Alito alluded to being against the Warren Court and the decision of the “one man, one vote” principle.  “The part that jeopardizes it (Alito’s nomination) more is his quotes in there saying that he had strong disagreement with the Warren Court particularly on reapportionment — one man, one vote,” Biden stated, adding “”The fact that he questioned abortion and the idea of quotas is one thing. The fact that he questioned the idea of the legitimacy of the reapportionment decisions of the Warren Court is even something well beyond that”.

So let’s see…Biden, Clinton and Obama all favored a filibuster of  the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice, as they all did it due to ONE issue that they disagreed with.  Well one basic and fundamental issue in their books and all of these individual issues were different for each.  So now that it is President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secy Clinton, will they still see things in the same light?  Or are they going to call for “bipartisanship” on the issue and call Republicans the party of no, again?  What stance are they going to take on tis measure?  Is it going to be what’s good for the goose is good for the gander?  Or it is going to be a  completely different ball game now that their party is up to bat?  Are they going to play by double standards (again)?  Or are they going to accept the fact that the opposition has just as much of a right (and probably more so, but we will have to wait to see who is actually nominated) to challenge the choice of the POTUS on the SCOTUS?

This should be VERRRRRRRY interesting!!!

Okay, so I just finished watching the latest and (not so) greatest Prime Time Presidential Valedictory….I mean Press Conference, along with some of the after-party appreciation but that was only between the commercial breaks of some actual breakdowns given.  I am sure that you can tell which channels I was watching versus which channels I peeked in on during the commercial breaks.  Anyway, I of course have a lot of opinions on the Presidential Lecture, and here are some of the highlights and my favorite brass tacks.

As much as it pains me to do so (and that pain is intensifying every time another one of these babies throws my viewing line-up for the evening) I managed to make it through yet another boring State of the President.  Although these things are actually getting worse, I managed to not feel the urge to grab my teddy and cuddle on the couch while nodding off (more about teddy bears in a few).  I think what made this one worse for me was actually part of what made me not close my eyes and rest my chin on my chest.  That probably seems at odds with my deeming of the “press conference” as boring, but it really doesn’t change that fact. 

While I think that these Prime Time so called Press Conferences are getting extremely boring, it is due to the act that they are so scripted that I keep waiting for a director to yell “cut and print, that’s a rap”.  President Obama was on camera for approximately 55 minutes.  During that time he managed to answer, count them, 13 questions.  If you factor in the time for his soliloquy at the beginning and also subtract the time it took for the “reporters” to ask the questions, that means that each of Obama’s answers were on average, 3 and 1/2 minutes long.  (Don’t hold me to that, I am just rough guesstimating here, but I don’t think that I’m that far off.)  Now, that may not seem like an obscene amount of time but if you think about it, a boxing round lasts 3 minutes.  After being asked a question in a Congressional hearings and testimony, the respondent gets about 2 and 1/2 to 3 minutes to give their entire answer to the original question and the multiple follow-ups.  An average TV News interview, with introduction and prelude, questions, answers and summary, usually lasts about 5 minutes all together.  If you don’t think that 3 and 1/2 minutes is a long time, then stop what you are doing, pull up your date/time in your settings menu and sit here and only watch the clock for 3 and 1/2 minutes….I’ll just wait here.

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Are you bored senseless yet?  Anyway, the flip side to the windy non-answer answers and prearranged roll call of “reporters”, were that while usually the “reporters” are the ones that add to the tediousness of specifically this President’s press conferences, actually provided the caffeine to my press conference narcolepsy.  The press have been throwing softballs at Obama for so long now and it is truly an annoying and at times grotesque thing to watch.  However, this time they managed to not only slobber…and even when they did that it caused my eyes to widen, but they also managed to throw a couple of fast pitches that had Obama figuratively jumping back from the proverbial plate.

The softball question of the evening was more like a whiffle ball.  This wasn’t even really a question, it was more like a gabbing session in a knitting circle….actually, those gals probably ask tougher questions than Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times.  I wonder how many were cringing as they heard a reporter from a major newspaper (going bankrupt or not) ask the POTUS about his feelings and emotions he has experienced during his first 100 days in office.  The specified emotions related to Obama’s biggest surprise upon taking office, his biggest enchantment, his most humbling realization and his most troubled thoughts.  You think I’m kidding?  Here is the direct quote:

During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office? Enchanted you the most from serving in this office? Humbled you the most? And troubled you the most?

OBAMA: Now let me write this down.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I’ve got…

QUESTION: Surprised, troubled…

OBAMA: I’ve got — what was the first one?

QUESTION: Surprised.

OBAMA: Surprised.

QUESTION: Troubled.

OBAMA: Troubled.

QUESTION: Enchanted.

OBAMA: Enchanted, nice.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: And humbled.

OBAMA: And what was the last one, humbled?

QUESTION: Humbled. Thank you, sir.

Can you even imagine attempting to come up with a formulation that would result in those questions….seriously?  I know there are a lot of people out there that aren’t as fond of Bill O’Reilly as I am, however Zeleny’s question brought forth this hilarious commentary between Bill O. and Bernie Goldberg during a segment of the O’Reilly Factor following the presser:

O’Reilly:  Did he actually say enchanted you the most?  Did he actually say that word?  Enchanted?

Goldberg:Yeah, you know we’re still saying this is the worst question, but it’s really a fascinating question and ah, and ah, let me tell you why.  I can not picture any journalist asking Franklin Roosevelt if he was enchanted, or Harry Truman, I mean he had a foul mouth, if he was enchanted.  Or Dwight Eisenhower or even Kennedy or Nixon because they were men of a different era, they were men of a John Wayne era. 

Today’s men, a lot of men today even in powerful positions, especially men in journalism, they’re softer.  They are what a friend of mine calls NPR-men.  They want to know about your feelings, whether you’re enchanted you know.  I mean come on, if I did a piece about you Bill, you know like for my web site or a magazine, and I said “Bill, what is it that enchants you?”, you’d punch me in the head you know.

O’Reilly:  I don’t know what that means.  I know what the enchanted Forest is, but I don’t know, I don’t

Goldberg:It’s the kind of question that fits our metrosexual time.

Now THAT was funny! (check out the link to my youtube page on this site for this encounter)

The two questions that I thought were the best of the event, both stemmed from the same issue and that’s not the only thing they shared in common.  They were both asked by network news guys, first by Jake Tapper of ABC and directly followed up by Mark Knoller of CBS.  They both involved the subject of waterboarding, they both were basically given a non-answer or an incomplete, both guys pressed the President on the answer he gave and both guys are going to have to have a “battle buddy” with them for the next couple of days if not weeks.

Jake Tapper brought up the general subject first asking Obama if, due to the fact that he has stated in the past that he believe that waterboarding is torture and given that torture is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, if it was his opinion that the Bush Administration sanctioned torture.  After giving a lengthy response that included such notions as that he believes that waterboarding “violates our ideals and our values” yada yada yada, how it is “not just my opinion, that’s the opinion of many who have examined the topic”, yada yada yada, that “putting and end to these practices” was in his words the “right thing to do”, yada yada yada, British, WWII, Churchill (maybe he shouldn’t bring up that name after the whole bronze bust incident), “prevent these kinds of enhanced interrogation techniques” will “make us safer over the long term” , yada yada yada, beacon, recruitment, Al-Qaeda, yada yada, “a decision that I’m very comfortable with”, end of non-answer.  Tapper followed it up by pressing the President as to whether or not he believed that the previous administration had sanctioned torture to which Obama answered “I believe that waterboarding was torture. And I think that the — whatever legal rationales were used, it was a mistake.”.  End of non-answer, reminded himself not to call on Tapper at the next press conference and then looked like he wanted to wipe his brow and say …whew.

Well…..not just yet Mr. President.  Obama next called on Mark Knoller from CBS.  While I was a tad bit worried that Knoller looked like he was about to keel over during the phrasing of his question (he didn’t look like he felt too great), I was grinning once he got it out.  Here was Knoller’s question verbatim:

“Thank you, sir. Let me follow up, if I may, on Jake’s question. Did you read the documents recently referred to by former Vice President Cheney and others saying that the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” not only protected the nation but saved lives?  And if part of the United States were under imminent threat, could you envision yourself ever authorizing the use of those enhanced interrogation techniques?”

Uh, oh….the sweat looks like it appeared back on the brow.  Where are some freaking Kleenex or hankys when you need them!  While the question Knoller asked was much more specific and longer, and I would think require MORE time to answer, POTUS gave a more clipped answer.  I guess he wanted that sweat to dry back up, after all you can’t look cool while dripping at the podium…ask Robert Gibbs. 

Even though the “answer” was shorter than the previous one, (and still a non-answer) I’ll summarize: While he has read the documents, they haven’t been declassified so he didn’t’ want to get into any details, but basically he believes that the Intel that was obtained by using these techniques could probably have been garnered in other ways.  While not exactly spelling it out, but extrapolating from the final thought of his answer, one could easily see that when Obama asked “are we safer as a consequence of having used these techniques?”, that he doesn’t believe that we are in fact safer.  He pretty much seems to think that 3 people were waterboarded and nothing was gained from it except a bad rap for the United States.  I know that seems like I am reading an awful lot into a couple of words, but here was the President’s final thought on Knoller’s question: “There have been no circumstances during the course of this first 100 days in which I have seen information that would make me second guess the decision that I have made. OK?”. 

Sure thing Mr. President….message received loud and clear. 

So what IS the message that we received?  On content, I am mostly at the same place that I was BEFORE the presser.  I mean, it is pretty hard to glean any new information, when questions are asked and rhetoric is exhaled.  I think that going into this, most knew hat Obama likes to toot his own horn as he did in his prologue, even if the facts presented aren’t the complete and whole truth.  I also think that most of us know that we shouldn’t go to places that have a lot of people, recirculated air, or cough without covering our mouths if we are sick or feel something coming on, swine flu (yes I said SWINE) or otherwise.  Also, I really hope that the hand washing thing is a no-brainer.  Thanks Pres.  On the auto industry, I am sure there are still some out there that let Obama pretend to pull the wool over their eyes, but for the rest of us I think we know that Obama wouldn’t mind being the Commander-In-Chief/GM and Chrysler CEO.  Of course if he can managed to be CEO of the U.S. Banking System, he won’t really need the title from the car industry as he will be able to control the financing ergo the credit and lending to the Big 3 in effect running them from afar. 

Pakistan?  Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan…I really HATE the way Obama pronounces that word!!!  As far as securing their nuclear arsenal against the Taliban, I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt.  I mean he doesn’t really want ANYONE to have them so why should the Taliban or al-Qaeda be any different?  Iraq?  We all knew that he wouldn’t pull the troops out in the manner in which he alluded to on the campaign trail…some of us are realists and know that doing so would have spelled disaster, and we didn’t need to be POTUS and receive top secret classified reports to realize this.  Specter?  I’d just assume skip over him (for now), but I think it was a waste of a question to ask Obama about his defection or the state of the Republican Party.  Let’s put it this way…if you needed to ask the President THAT question, you are either a liberal and want to hear some more Conservative bashing, or you are a few flapjacks short of a full stack. 

One interesting, but not news shattering deviation came from a question asked by Ed Henry of CNN regarding the Freedom of Choice Act.  Obama claimed that this policy is not a high legislative priority and stated that “a task force within the Domestic Policy Council in the West Wing of the White House that is working with groups both in the pro-choice camp and in the pro-life camp, to see if we can arrive at some consensus on that.”.  I’m not too sure that his fans at Planned Parenthood or NARAL were too thrilled to hear that.  Of course, they DID just get Sebilius in as Secy of HHS, so that should quell them…at least for a couple of days.

Immigration?  Nothing new.  I think that Conservatives are of the opinion that Obama would love to streamline a “Path to Citizenship” for all of the illegal aliens (YES….I said ILLEGALS AND ALIENS), and let them partake of our healthcare system, social security system, welfare system, but most importantly, our VOTING system.  Think of that whole new electorate that amnesty (basically) would create for the Democrats.

When asked about action for the African-American communities, Obama kind of sidestepped that one, choosing to make it inclusionary of all races and instead targeting those who are “most vulnerable”.  Redaction and State Secrets?  Obama isn’t a complete idiot and knows what those tools can do for him.  He was against it, before he was for it….in other words when Bush had the power, he was adamantly against.  Now that the white-out is in his hand, he decided that it is necessary in some instances.  Now why am I not surprised?   As to the big finale, I think that right now with so many issues that have been deemed high priorities, I think that President Obama would have preferred to have come into office, only dealing with the same issues that he based his campaign platform around when he first declared he candidacy.  But I also think that while taking over the mortgage industry, financial sector, auto industry and banking industry causes a mighty full plate, that he did not in fact the those crisis go to waste.  My stance, as of this first 100 days, is that while he is busy juggling, Obama isn’t too upset that these issues have been served up to him on a platter.  That while Capitalism is still alive, it’s pulse is very faint surviving on life support and that eventually the POTUS will either pull the plug, or tax the crap outta the machine to the point where t is too expensive to run.

Can we the people resuscitate the foundation of our economy?  Or are we going to let it fade away with a DNR attached to it’s bedside?  To conclude, I would like to make one observation that is slightly off the original topic, although there is a relation present.  My husband and I were sitting in the living room discussing these any other issues, when the beginning of Hannity came on at 10pm.  The opening segment contained different media clips and sound bites that have taken place over these past 100 days and they were assembled into a montage that was scored to O Fortuna.  I found this a bit ironic and liking the verses (as well as Carmina Burana), I couldn’t take my gaze from the screen.  A couple of the clips within were from the now famous if not infamous interviews that Former Vice President Dick Cheney has given over the past 100 days regarding the actions of the Obama Administration.  While watching those particular clips, I looked over at my husband and told him that he was going to think that I was crazy for what I was about to say.  He gave me one of those “not much you say surprises me anymore” looks and I told him “I don’t know what it is and I can’t tell you why exactly, but for some reason when I see Dick Cheney, I want to give him a big teddy bear hug” (see I told you the teddy bear was going to some back into this!).  I told him that “when I listen to Cheney I feel like he is the sort of person that is who I want for my leader”.  “When you hear him speak”, I relayed, “and when you hear what he has to say, you feel that if he is around, nothing bad is going to happen.  That if he is looking out for you, he won’t let harm come to you no matter what he has to do to protect you, he will do it” and that “He is the type of person that I not only want for my leader, but is the type of person that I would like to be seen as…the type that is going to stand up for what’s right, not waiver in my resolution to serve, protect and defend.  The type of person that people look to when times are good and more importantly when times are bad because I will not back down from the enemy and I will not apologize for being a citizen of the greatest country on Earth.  The type of person that sticks around when the times are tough taking the heat for any mistakes, not placing blame on others and yet fades into the background when times are good while still present, letting the people who earned the success take the credit for the fruits of their labor.”  My husband is of course biased on this front and told me that I am that type of person, just on a smaller scale because I haven’t reached the next level.  At this I laughed and stated “To be honest with you, I would take it as a great compliment if I had the nickname Darth Vader”.

Today is a huge event for Obamacrats….this is the 100th day of the Obama Presidential Administration and it is being touted and celebrated by many all over the political spectrum. 

The left is gushing galore, singing the President’s praises even louder than usual and commending him on all that he has accomplished in a mere 100 days.  The right is being a lot less deferential.  Conservatives are at best stating that it is too early to judge Obama’s effects on the Nation stating that results have yet to be witnessed from the actions that he has taken and at worst highlighting all of the mistakes and errs in judgment that have been on display likening the Administration to Freshman in high school.

There are many questions to be asked on this day, the first being: Is this an accurate barometer for what is to come in the next 1,361 days, or is it just another day?  Should we take measure of what Obama has done to this point in his Presidency and size him up?  Is this fair?  Is 100 days really enough time to be able to see any fruits?  Is the first 100 days” of the Obama Administration being examined in the same way as we have summed up past presidents?  Or is Obama being labeled as akin to FDR through rose tinted glasses?

Personally I feel that 100 days really is too little of a frame of time to be able to judge in a way that gives too much praise, or too little faith.  While being a Conservative automatically puts me on a collision course for disagreement with Obama and at odds with looking through the rose tint, I don’t want to only look at his Presidential Administration in an only negative light either.  I feel that by doing so, I would be placing myself in the same company as those that did and still do suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome.  I am willing to stand up and applaud when I think that the President deserves praise however, I am also going to be the first one to air any grievances as well….this applies to any and ALL POTUS, not just the Obama.  First, I think that a look back at the origins of the concept of the “First 100 Days” originated and then we can compare it to today. 

The milestone marker of the “First 100 Days” was part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” in 1933.  When Roosevelt took office on March 4, 1933, the nation was in turmoil.  The Great Depression was in full swing, having officially hit the United States on October 29, 1929, the day of the most devastating crash of the stock market on Wall Street, also referred to as Black Tuesday.  The New Deal was a series of economic acts that FDR initiated in order to bring immediate relief to the American people.  The President met with Congress every day for the first 100 days of his Administration and during those 100 days, Congress was almost entirely compliant with Roosevelt giving him just about everything he wanted.

The effects of the New Deal agenda on the The Great Depression are highly debated to this day among the different schools of economic and political thought.  One thing that is definite is that fact that good, bad or indifferent, the New Deal did make a big mark on the United States in cultural, economic, social and political spheres.  Some of the programs that came out of the New Deal include:

Roosevelt’s concept was to get relief to those that needed it the most via redistribution of income (take from the rich and give to the poor).  He also wanted to ensure long-term economic solutions and did so by creating and reorganizing new agencies, some of which are listed above.  While initially in favor of running a balanced budget, the programs enacted in the New Deal caused budget deficits and was what lead the United States off of the gold standard.  In his First Inaugural Address, Roosevelt stated, “Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. . . . The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization.”.

Since World War II there has been question as to whether or not the New Deal brought about the end of the Great Depression, whether it stabilized the economy and prevented deeper depression, or whether or not the New Deal itself did drive the country into further depression.  In 1937, there was a further drop in the economy (Recession of 1937) which lasted throughout most of 1938 and it was during this dip that the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL/CIO), were formed.  However once the United States officially entered World War II in 1941, the unemployment rate was down from a high of 24.9% in 1933 to 9.9% and by the end of the war in 1945, unemployment was estimated at 1.9%.

So how does the New Deal of FDR and his “First 100 Days” milestone compare and contrast with the first 100 days of the Obama Administration?  To start with, while the economy has entered a recession we are not anywhere near the Great Depression when it comes to unemployment rates, banking standards or economic policies.  Secondly while many will look at the actions that President Obama has taken during his first 100 days as similar or even on par with FDR, remember it wasn’t until years after Roosevelt’s New Deal began, that the United States could see the effects (whether good or bad) on the country.  After studying quite a bit about the FDR Administration, the New Deal and the Great Depression, I can see where one who was looking for them, might find similar issues however I would caution those people to realize the full scope of the global economy in 1933 versus 2009 and hopefully they will see that it is nearly impossible if not downright impossible, to fairly compare the two….at least not at the 100 day mark.  Hopefully the day will never come when we will be able to paint a side by side portrait of the two administrations and what were accomplished in the first 100 days of each because to be able to do so, would mean that the United States and global economies would have to take a sharp downward turn and spiral completely out of control.  If that did indeed happen, it wouldn’t be Obama riding to the rescue as FDR was in 1933….Obama would own it instead.

There have though, been a number of things that have been acted upon during these first 100 days of Barack Obama’s presidency.  Some of which I agree with, very little that I am indifferent to and most of which I think is completely wrong.  I think it is the wrong time to be increasing our debt, deficit by attempting to spend our way out of recession and increasing social programs such as National Healthcare and the Nationalization of the financial and industrial centers, yet cutting the budget of our Defense Department while we are in the middle of two, boots -on-the-ground wars and a third on terror.  I think that it is not the time or place….nor is it ever the time or place, to apologize for America’s past on behalf of Americans and to do this apologizing to leaders of the very countries that seek to harm us and our allies.  I do not believe that talking to those that will ever peacefully give up their quest for nuclear arms, world jihad or the destruction of Israel.  But I’ll save that for my next post.  ;0)

So to recap, the questions asked on the “First 100 Days” mark were; Is this an accurate barometer for what is to come in the next 1,361 days, or is it just another day?  Should we take measure of what Obama has done to this point in his Presidency and size him up?  Is this fair?  Is 100 days really enough time to be able to see any fruits?  Is the first 100 days” of the Obama Administration being examined in the same way as we have summed up past presidents?  Or is Obama being labeled as akin to FDR through rose tinted glasses?

The summary?  Well, I think that everyone will have to answer those questions for themselves, but here is my take:

I feel that while the “First 100 Days” mark is an artificial milestone in these times, it does show one thing….I believe it shows judgment and the character of said.  Presidents can and often do, change their polices and stances throughout the course of their administration, but the essence of a person is in their character, judgment, choices that they make and actions that they take and those while sometimes camouflaged, are not often changed. 

I think that while it is too early to see what effects Obama’s to date are going to have on the country, especially over the long term, we can definitely see the direction that he wants to lead this country and to me it feels like a sharp turn to the left.  And while it may not be fair to size up the next 3 and 1/2 years yet, I thin that it is fair to hold him accountable for the actions that he has taken, the decisions that he has made and I definitely think that it is fair to not only expect, but demand that he own the good, bad and indifferent and get off of the rhetoric of blaming those that came before him.

As far as gazing though those shades tinted rose, I think that people desire strong leadership and are at time manipulating the scene in order to catch those rays through their glasses…I just hope that they aren’t wearing goggles.  I think that the left will continue to see the majority (and in some cases, all) of Obama’s actions in that positive light and I can only hope that while not totally attempting to discredit everything that he has touched, that the right not fall under the spell cast by the halo appropriated by the left (probably with our tax dollars at that!).  In the absence of leadership, some will follow the one shouting the loudest and some will quietly look for this quality in others.  Which scenario we face in the days to come is anybodies guess, but we all have our opinions.  Mine says keep looking.

Mainstream Media, MSM, Drive-Bys….however you refer to them or what terminology you use, they all point to the same sources.  The MSM is a term that is used most commonly when referencing major newspapers, syndication agencies and television news broadcasts.  Some of the most popular MSM outlets are:

Daily Newspapers (standard newspaper format dailies)

  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • The LA Times
  • The San Francisco Chronicle
  • The Atlanta-Journal Constitution
  • The St. Petersburg Times

Syndication Agencies

  • Associated Press (AP)
  • United Press International (UPI)
  • Reuters

Television Broadcast News

  • NBC
  • ABC
  • CBS
  • CNN
  • MSNBC
  • NPR
  • PBS
  • Fox News Channel (though not as commonly referred to MSM as above listed entities, Fox News often refers to MSM bias when reporting)

When reading, listening or watching the majority of these news outlets it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to spot the bias in the presentation or format of their “reporting”.  That isn’t an insult to those that watch, listen to, or read any of the above by any means.  It is just that in recent times, these organizations have gone from attempting to remain neutral in their reporting, to pretending to be neutral, to outright advocacy of certain issues that are almost always liberal in nature.  By doing this, they have made it easy to spot and I believe that all but the most left of the left can see it.  The trick isn’t being able to spot it…the trick is ignoring the slants and still being able to obtain the news and just the news. 

 I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to have my news interpreted for me.  Tell me the facts, present the circumstances and let me draw my own conclusions.  It is a not-so-well kept secret that a majority of “journalists” are liberal in their political philosophies and that many of them not only don’t attempt to hide it, but have become quite proud of their declarations.  How many remember Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s “Hardball” grossing us all out when he said that when he listened to Obama give a speech, he got a “thrill” up his leg….boy that was fodder not only in the days following the comment, but is sure to be for a long time.

Of course when talking about “journalists” and their bias (one way or the other), I want to be fair and state that I firmly believe that there is a difference between those that report the news and those that interpret the news.  In other words reporters vs. pundits/commentators and some anchors depending upon the station and the program.  Do I really expect to turn into “The Rachel Maddow Show” or Countdown w/Keith Olbermann” on MSNBC and expect to hear the news, just the news and nothing but the news?  Of course not!  My problem isn’t necessarily with the pundits/commentators and their interpretation of the news for their broadcasts.  My problem on that front stems from the fact that there is a HUGE chunk of the population that does in fact, turn into these programs and expect that what they are hearing is journalistic reporting.  It is not….it is demagoguery personified. 

The other problem, as I see it, with the MSM is in what used to be known as reporting the news…in other words, those that are NOT pundits and commentators, but those that claim to be journalists reporting the news.  The traditional role of a news reporter or anchor was to bring you the news in a concise and factual manner.  It seems like a clear cut issue; gather the facts and report the facts.  If I turn into the 6 o’clock news to catch up on the events of the day, I don’t want the person that is supposed to be relaying those events to me to give me their two cents along with the facts that they cherry-picked to mix in with opinion.  I want the facts…that’s it.  If I want opinion I will either form my own, or tune into shows that I know are commentary in nature in order to see what others think on certain matters.  Otherwise, just give me the news!

I think that in the past couple of election cycles (really heating up during the Bush vs. Gore race in 2000), we have seen the MSM take on the role of advocating causes and not being an advocate for their viewers.  If they really cared about the news and their viewers then they wouldn’t try to tell them what they think they should be thinking.  Even though this is really nothing new (nothing under the sun is), it has even gone a step further from advocacy to down right campaigning for candidates and issues.  Anyone that turned on a television, read a newspaper or listened to a radio was exposed to a variety of opinions and nearly all were in favor of the election of Barack Obama for president.  While there have been a great number of polls that have conducted research in this area, the gist of those that were really out to find the truth all basically came to the same conclusion…the MSM wanted Obama as the 44th President.  Taking an average of those independent polls you can find that when “reporting” the news, about 75% of all segments about Obama were positive in nature while less than 30% of segments about John McCain were positive in nature.  Those figures alone are scary….however that is not the most frightening part.  What is the most frightening (at least to me) is; a) there is a large section of the population that does not see it, whether it be that they were too blinded by the halo shining above “The One”, that they weren’t looking for it, that they didn’t especially care, or that they did notice but didn’t think it had that much of an impact, b) the majority of the MSM still refutes that they were in the tank for Obama even though they made statements that proved that they were and even though there are many journalists out there that admit that they were clearly bias and c) this bias did in fact have a huge impact on the 2008 election cycle.

I think that those of us that believe that the bias present in the MSM is harming our culture, traditions and values need to spread awareness to those that are listed in a,b and c, above.  It is a sad thing to not be able to trust the media, but it is even more sad when we encounter those that do.  Here are some of my favorite sites for not only getting news, but for exposing with a big fat spotlight, daily bias in the MSM.  It is hard to refute the facts when they are in back and white right in front of you!

Media Research Center (MRC) 

Newsbusters 

TimesWatch

Business and Media Institute

Culture and Media

Drudge Report

Dick Morris

National Review

The Weekly Standard

TVNewser

The 9/12 Project 

Before I make any further posts, I would like to disclose my personal views on Politics and The Obama Administration.

I am indeed a registered Republican and consider myself a Conservative.  To many that know me, this is a hard concept to grasp due to my personality, appearance and nature.  A lot of times using these indicators alone can be misleading and if asked, I am the first one to clear up any preconceived notions.  Of course when generalizing the preconceptions of a Republican and/or Conservative, the first idea that usually comes to mind is the image of  stodgy, white haired, old guys sitting in a smoke filled room with scotch tumblers and club chairs.  I am NOT that old guy.  ;0)  As a matter of fact, I am almost the exact opposite of that profile.  I am young and a female that stands nearly 6ft tall with blonde hair and green eyes.  As far as the stodginess goes, just think the exact opposite and you’ll have a better idea of my personality.  I am definitely outspoken, sometimes loud and sometimes come across as brash…but I am not purposefully rude.  I think that when debating facts and truths should be used and unless asked for, opinions discarded.  I absolutely can’t stand when someone uses their opinions as facts when debating a subject, I hate constant rhetoric, interruptions and really hate when a point is made and with no rebuttal the other side changes the subject.  I believe in concepts of common courtesy, treating others equally and fairly and that respect and trust both have to be earned.  These are concepts that I think apply to everyday life and I hope that any generalizations and/or preconceived notions have at least been addressed.  Now onto the rest. 

As I stated I am of the Conservative school of political thought, but I don’t want to run anyone off so let me share a few details.  I am an advocate of less government, lower taxes and am very much in favor of capitalism.  On hot-button issues, my thoughts tend to meander and take tangents although my opinions are definitive and conservative in the end.  I am pro-life, but really don’t think that it is my place or business to tell anyone else what they should do with their lives/bodies.  I believe in the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, but I think that all technicalities aside, same-sex couples should have many of the same (if not all of the same) legals rights as traditional married couples.  I am stuck on that word…”marriage”…but I am of the belief that civil unions are the way to go.  On the issue of gun rights and the Second Amendment, I am very much an advocate of an individuals right to bear arms.  I am a former member of the military, have many law enforcement officials in my family and am a proud card carrying member of the NRA.  While my stance may seem cut and dry or black and white, it really isn’t.  I do think that there should be sensible laws in place regarding gun ownership; no guns for criminals/convicted felons, no guns for those accused but not yet convicted of a felony and my most important no-no is no guns for kids.  If you are of the age of majority and are able to defend this country then I think you should be able to defend yourself as well, but anyone under the age of legal consent has no business owning a weapon.

The Obama Administration.  Now there is a hot-button issue if there ever was one.  I did not vote for the man.  I know that I don’t have to explain my reasons however, I would just like to state for the record that I wouldn’t have voted for Hillary either….I wouldn’t have voted for any Democrat that is as liberal as those two.  I do not like Obama’s stances, beliefs and his school of thought, while murky at best, scares the crap out of me most of the time.  While it’s true that I would not have voted for a lefty liberal in any case, but I still did my own research on Barack Obama the person, the politician.  I am a huge critic and skeptic of the Mainstream Media (MSM) and rarely take their “news” at face value.  I will get into that in more detail in a separate post, but suffice to say after reading, researching, listening about Obama, my thoughts pointed to left-wing liberal.  However, even given my sentiments, I know what it is like to be pre-judged and I didn’t want to size up his entire presidency based on his past.  I could only use that as an indicator and stated right from the get-go that while I did not vote for him, he is my President as well and I made a point to give him the benefit of the doubt.  Once again, another subject, another post, another time…but at this point I believe that my first assertions were correct.

I do not want President Obama to fail…..I do want his agenda to fail.  I do not want to see this country become like others, I do not want the death of Capitalism, I do not want to live in a big brother welfare state.  While I want his policies to fail, I do not want the United States to fail and that is where I think his policies will lead us…hence my views on the subject.  I did in fact vote for President Bush (43) twice however, I did not always agree with his policies.  I do not believe that any Administration is perfect nor ever will be, but I do believe that our system as we have always known it, in America is still the best around.

So, that is just a very small percentage of a percentage of my views on life, politics and Obama.  I hope that I gave you enough that you can decide if you want to continue reading….but I also hope that I didn’t give away too much so that you will want to come back for more!  I welcome all ideas, thoughts and opinions on these and other matters and hope to hear from you!

The World of Politics is kind of like desserts….when you are an adult, you can eat your desert first!