Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Playing the Race Card on a Conservative Friend

BENEATH THE SPIN * ERIC L. WATTREE

Playing the Race Card on a Conservative Friend

Tom,
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I try to avoid bringing race into discussions on issues other than when race is the issue itself, because it becomes a distraction. But in this case, race is the thousand pound gorilla beating his chest in the corner that no one wants to acknowledge, so I'm going to broach the issue. I don't anticipate it being a problem, because we’re close enough not to have to tiptoe around issues with one another. So I’m just going to be candid and drop the race card on you on this one.
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It is absolutely unbelievable that I can send an educated man like yourself - a scientist, no less - an article that's thoroughly documented and filled with irrefutable facts, and then have you come back at me with a bunch of conservative rantings, speculation, wishful thinking, and over-the-top fear mongering. I simply don’t get it. You’re much too intelligent a man to even entertain some of the nonsense that you send me, much less, disseminate it. But I have a theory - cognitive dissonance. So I'd Like you to hear me out, here.
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First, I know for a fact that you’re not a virulent racist, so let's get that out the way.
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One of the reasons that I value your friendship so much is because I’ve never forgotten the time that a group of your conservative friends tried to use the tag team approach to overwhelm me. We didn't even know each other then. At first you were supporting them, but when they couldn’t handle me one-on-one, they came together and tried to pile-on. Once you recognized what they were doing, you forgot all about race, and the conservative philosophy that you shared with them, and we fought back-to-back like two Marines fighting off the enemy in combat - and you brought passion to that fight. You argued the progressive point of view as effectively as I could. That’s something that you can’t fake, and your passion was one of the reasons that we won. We exhausted them, so they lost the will to fight.
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I’ll never forget that day. That’s why I take the time to listen to you more patiently than I do any other conservative I know. That’s also why I don’t call you and curse you out over some of the crazy conservative crap that you send me. I just kind of fluff it off, and tell Rita, "Well, Tom’s in his zone again." So again, my point is, I know you’re not a racist.
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But that said, that’s far from saying that we don’t all harbor subconscious ideas and attitudes that bring comfort to our reality. This is true of all of us, including myself. Even though I know that people are just people, and I always try to be sensible and objective, as a musician, if I come across a White sax player who can out-play me, in spite of myself, there’s something deep inside of me that seriously resents it, because all of my life I’ve been taught that Black people are suppose to have more "soul" than White folks. Intellectually, I know that’s not always true - and I’ve had the fallacy of that flawed logic painfully demonstrated to me on several occasions. Nevertheless, in my heart, I still want to believe it, because that’s what I’ve been conditioned to believe, and it serves to bestow a "special" status upon me as a Black musician that brings me comfort and pride. But unfortunately, Phil Woods didn't get the memo, and therefore, he feels no abiding need to accommodate my fantasy. That's exactly what's going on with Barack Obama and the GOP.
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Obama feels absolutely no obligation to accommodate ultraconservative delusions of superiority. He is, who he is, but they simply refuse to accept that reality. Regardless to how hard they try to reconfigure truth, Obama is, and always will be, their intellectual superior. That reality cannot be changed, and it cannot be denied, so they might as well accept it.
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I've experienced the same thing as a writer. Since many White people have embraced the myth that Black people are not supposed to be either literate, or thoughtful, I'm often nitpicked to death by White writers - "Wouldn't it have been better if you'd put a semicolon there instead of a dash?" Some - and it invariably seems to be those who are most insecure - seem to have an irresistible urge to cast me in the role of "protégé with potential," even though in many cases I'm much better at what we do than they are. But casting me in that role brings them comfort.  But the fact is, regardless to how much they nitpick, they'll never be able to nitpick me into a box that will accommodate their flawed view a reality. Reality is, what reality is, and it doesn't ask for our permission to be so. And the true reality is, I could edit what many of my would-be "mentors'" write, and when I'm done it would look like a chicken danced on their copy after walking through red paint.
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Black people are accustomed to dealing with White delusions of grandeur, so in the past we simply smiled to ourselves and rolled with it, because whenever a Back person is confronted by a White person throwing his or her defensive barriers up, it's actually a "slapliment," because it says that you're demonstrating the kind of excellence that's causing a particular White person to feel insecure, and such situations are so routine that my grandfather saw the necessity to instruct me in it as a child.
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He instructed me to "Never let White folks know how much you know. Always use the fact that they think you're dumb to your advantage." Actually, that's the rationale behind "Uncle Tom" behavior. The only problem is, modern-day Uncle Toms no longer use it as merely a manipulative tool; they actually allow themselves to become accommodationists, and white pets.   
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But the tactic was once used very effectively against White hubris. A perfect example of it in action was shown in a scene with Jack Bennie and Rochester. Jack Bennie was walking behind Rochester, and to his right, as Rochester was carrying a long board over his right shoulder. Then Jack Bennie, who had been irritating the hell out of Rochester throughout the entire scene, told Rochester to turn right. But instead, Rochester turned left and knocked the hell out of Bennie, knocking him to the floor with the back of the board. Then when he "realized" what he had done, he dropped the board in a "panic," which caused the board to hit Bennie yet again. Then, when Rochester went to help Bennie up, Bennie said, "I said, turn RIGHT!  To which, Rochester said,  "Oh, Boss, I's so sorry. Sometimes I's so dumb I don't know why you put up with me."
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So dealing with White hubris is nothing new to Black people. In fact, some Black people have elevated the technique to an hilarious art form that's playing itself out every day all over America. So for the GOP to think that Black people don't recognize the "hidden" motives behind their behavior, is once again, the height of arrogance.  That's why their campaign to recruit more Black people, and their contention that Black people have blindly attached themselves to the Democratic Party is a joke. Black people know exactly what they're doing - and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Democratic Party passing out welfare checks, a racist assertion in itself.  Thus, the only ones blind in this scenario is GOP leadership.
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But Black people have to be careful, because we are human, and the need to contort truth in order to forge a comfortable reality is not just a White predilection, it's a human trait. So we make some of the very same mistakes on the flip-side of the equation. Stevie Ray Vaughan (below) proved that it is just as fallacious to assume that all White folks are challenged in the area of "soul," as it is for many White people to assume that Black people are intellectually challenged. There are White musicians out there who can play Black music better than most Black people. That's a simple truth that I found could not, and would not, be denied, regardless to how good it made me feel to believe that Black musicians were anointed. So that's a truth that I just had to learn to accept. But watching the negative affects of White hubris has made that much easier to accomplish.

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Thus, a White person doesn’t have to be a racist to want to believe that they are somehow special predicated on being born White. That's not racism, it's a human delusion that brings them comfort and pads their self-esteem. Thus, it's a simple coping device. Racism is when we become so vindictive and hostile in our refusal to accept race-related reality that we begin to hate the person that challenges our comfort zone, and then try to create artificial conditions to corrupt reality and support our delusions.  Racism would have been if I became so insecure over Stevie Ray Vaughan's excellence that I took aggressive steps to prevent him from being heard, or used unrelated issues as a pretext to attack him. That's what the GOP is doing in response to Barack Obama - and the only people who can't see that is the GOP itself.
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The late psychologist Carl Jung said that once we’ve satisfied our primary needs, everything we do thereafter, we do to enhance our feelings of self-esteem and reduce our feelings of inadequacy. So watching many conservatives trying to come to terms with being out-maneuvered, out-classed, and out-thought by Barack Obama is indeed a phenomena of human nature that is amazing to behold.
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It clearly shows that some people would rather poke their own eyes out than to be forced to come to terms with a reality that causes them cognitive dissonance, discomfort, or having to confront a truth that they don’t want to accept - and that’s in spite of screaming evidence rendering that truth to be irrefutably valid. Thus, the fact that Barack Obama is not only better and more competent than anyone the GOP has been able to put forward in over a century, but also, could very possibly be among the top three greatest presidents in America’s history, is literally killing these people: "A Black man!!!? - never!" They don't like what they see, so they're banging their heads up against the wall trying to reconfigure reality, but all that does is make them look like idiots.
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They think their emotion-driven motivations are hidden, but they're glaringly obvious to the entire world. What they really want - other than wanting Obama to just stop being president, period - is for this first Black president to "stay in his place." They want him to stop being smarter than them, to stop out-classing them, and to stop being more competent than they are. That's what they really want, and they want it desperately (and there are a few high-profile Black people who feel that way as well, by the way, but that's a different article, regarding "bligotry").
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They're desperate, because Obama’s very presence represents such a brutal assault on the concept of White superiority that it’s, literally, driving many ultraconservative Republicans over the edge. They’ve become so distressed over it that they’ve descended into a literal state of cognitive dissonance.
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Cognitive dissonance is the emotional stress that results when what one wants to believe doesn’t coincide with observable reality. The late social psychologist, Leon Festinger, the father of the concept of cognitive dissonance, says, "When dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance [emphasis added]."
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That’s exactly what many ultraconservatives are doing, and it perfectly accounts for why you, Tom, would send me quotations like the one you sent in your last email.  It quotation said:
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"Obama has grabbed blank-check dictatorship powers that are a violent assault on our personal liberty, property rights and the rule of law . . . By limiting how we travel, what we can eat, and where we can work he can create the communist utopia he has always dreamed about!"
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Tom, that's ridiculous, and you and I both know it.  So considering your keen intellect and powerful analytical skills in most other areas, I can’t help but suggest that you have to be suffering from, at least, a little touch of cognitive dissonance yourself.
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Again, President Obama's intelligence represents a frontal assault on the concept of White superiority, and that’s a bitter pill for many conservatives to swallow. Because, that means that they’re not special by virtue of birthright after all, and if they want to become special, they’re going to have to invest in themselves as individuals just like anyone else, Black or White. Obama also represents the fact that their mediocrity is actually true mediocrity, and there’s no hidden reservoir of "specialness" within them that they can take comfort in. That can be scary to some people.
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So Tom, give that some thought before the next time you send me any more of these unsubstantiated conservative contrivances. When a man of your intellectual caliber sends me crap like you’ve done of late, it makes me embarrassed for him, and I don’t like feeling embarrassed for you, because you, indeed, are special. But you aren’t special because you were born that way, or because you’re white; you’re special because you made yourself that way as an individual, just like Obama did. So actually, you and Obama are essentially two of a kind.  You have much more in common with Barack Obama than you do your conservative allies.
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So you don’t have to try to diminish Obama to feel good about yourself - many conservatives might, but you don't. I like you just the way you are, Tom. I like taking pride in the fact that I have a brilliant physicist with a highly trained mind as a friend.  So don’t spoil my illusions by sending me what amounts to electronic spitballs. You’re better than that - in fact, you’re almost as intelligent as I am, in spite of the fact that you're a White boy.
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Fox News Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry Tried to Embarrass
the President in Front of Another Foreign Leader. Watch How Adroitly Obama Handles Him -
Again, Without Bustin' a Sweat Bubble. These People Are Out of Their League.
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Your bud,
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E
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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Don’t Waste Obama’s Last Two Years, America - We May Not See Another Like Him For Generations

BENEATH THE SPIN * ERIC L. WATTREE

Don’t Waste Obama’s Last Two Years, America - We May Not See Another Like Him For Generations
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In the interest of full disclosure, as a journalist, I feel ethically bound to make the following statement that should be taken into account whenever I write anything associated with President Obama:
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While I’ve written articles critical of President Obama in the past (and continue to stand by every one of those criticisms), overall, I’ve been such a huge supporter of his administration that I’ve been accused by some of his critics of being an Obama cheerleader. I’ve denied that allegation in the past, but after objectively looking over some of the articles that I’ve written over the course of his presidency, I now have to admit that I have indeed become an Obama cheerleader - but not because he’s Black, not because he’s liberal, and not because he’s a Democrat. I’ve become an Obama cheerleader because I love excellence, competence, integrity, and intelligence, and he’s demonstrated - at least to my satisfaction - that he represents all of those things. So I’m going to use this disclosure to try to help the public see what I see - one of the greatest presidents in the history of this country.
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I've studied Obama closely over the years, and I’ve found that he uses history and the strategies of past to make his decisions. As a result, he’s been brutally criticized by some on the left for not approaching issues in the way that they would approach them. But his critics tend to forget that he’s president, and we’re not, for a very good reason - he’s smarter than we are.
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When most of us are passionate about an issue, we’re predisposed to fight to the bitter end for it. That’s an emotional response, not a thoughtful one. Take the issue of single-payer healthcare, for example. Many of us would have gone down fighting over that issue, but that’s exactly what would have happened, we would have gone down, and literally millions of Americans would have been deprived of affordable healthcare.
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It’s easy to go down fighting for a cause when our home is not that battlefield. But take a moment to consider if it was. Let’s say, for example, that you had a beautiful and precious daughter who was twenty-five years old, but she had a dreadful disease that cost $250,000 a year to manage. So far you’ve been able to get by because she’s a part of your healthcare plan. But the problem is, her twenty-sixth birthday is looming, and she’ll be kicked off of your health plan on her birthday, and you can’t find another affordable healthcare plan for her due to her pre-diagnosed condition. That would mean that your precious daughter would be facing a death sentence on her twenty-sixth birthday. Would you be critical of President Obama’s willingness to "cave-in" then? 
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I don’t think so. On the contrary, I think you would get down on your knees and thank God that you have a thoughtfully practical president in office who's not so blinded by self-interest, ideology, and political concerns that he failed to taken your situation into account. That was the situation for millions of Americans across this country, all of them not quite so severe, but the quality of their lives were being devastated nevertheless.(http://money.cnn.com/gallery/news/economy/2014/03/28/obamacare-enrollees/)
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So while some are jumping up and down and accusing Obama of caving in on healthcare and other issues, the president is willing to take the heat, because he’s practical, thoughtful, and selfless enough to see the big picture, and consider the needs of those who may not have the political clout to help themselves. In short, he’s willing to take the heat for those Americans who don’t have the time, and/or capacity, to make themselves heard. I find that very commendable, and rare, in today’s political environment.
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And at the same time, he hasn’t given up on single-payer healthcare. It’s just that he’s forward- thinking enough to recognize that once the people embrace "Obamacare," and begin to recognize the benefit that it can bring to their personal lives, they’re going to DEMAND a single-payer system. So what was most important to him was getting the people used to the fact that they have a RIGHT to government-protected and guaranteed health insurance - or, "a right to life," as it were.

SHE DIED OF REPUBLICAN POLITICS
President Obama is an unabashed intellectual and student of history, so he uses his knowledge of history in making his decisions and forging his administrative strategies - and the foot-in-the-door strategy is as old as the hills. So that’s generally the strategy that he uses to get the job done, in spite of unprecedented obstructionism by the GOP.
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He knows the Republicans don't believe in reading and consider John Wayne-like ignorance as manly, so he uses it against them. That accounts for why he doesn’t get into spitball fights with them. Many on the left have also bought into the John Wayne syndrome, so they also see Obama’s quiet competence as a sign of weakness. But it’s far from that - it’s a sign of a powerful and unique intelligence.
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The reason I’ve studied Obama so closely is because all my life I’ve loved going up against people who thought they were heavy. I used to stay in trouble as a kid for challenging the beliefs of adults that I thought were silly. My mother was constantly telling me to stay in my place. So I’ve always enjoyed debating and examining ideas, much like many men - including Obama - enjoy going out on the court and gettin’ into a pickup game, which I’ve never had any interest in at all. But I would hate to have to go up against Barack Obama brain-cell-for-brain-cell, because that brother is a quiet, unassuming, genius - it would be like my trying to challenge Michael Jordan to a one-on-one. 
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What the impatient left needs to understand about Obama is, contrary to the claims of some of his critics, he’s a very strong and confident man. He only seems quiet and docile, because when you have strength and confidence, you feel the need to prove it by trying to be overly macho. Obama is an intellectual heavy weight, so he doesn’t believe in trying to out-scream his opponents; he believes in out-thinking ‘em.
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Neither does he believe in attacking the walls of a fort head on and going down in a blaze of glory; he believes in climbing in through the windows, because he’s not interested in trying to look heroic - that’s an ignorant and immature motivation. He simply wants to achieve his objectives. That’s how he got Osama Bin Laden. After Bush failed to get Bin laden, in spite of spending seven years, over a trillion dollars, and killing over a million people - including, killing or maiming thousands of American troops. Obama walked through the door and got Bin Laden with three helicopters and a handful of America's finest, without bustin’ a sweat bubble - and, while dragging Donald Trump through the mud at a dinner party in the process - and never once, breaking that quietly disarming smile. And thereafter, did he assemble the troops and news cameras to watch him land on an aircraft carrier and strut around in a flight suit  bragging about what he'd accomplished? No. He simply walked away like it was all in a day's work.  This is an extraordinary man.
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So there’s a big difference between the GOP and Obama. The GOP believes in the power of money, strength, and the military. Obama believes in the power of the mind - and he’s killing the entire Republican Party with his intellect alone. Think about it. The scene in Washington, D.C. for the past six years has been much like one adult trying to manage a house filled with ranting and raving children. The Republicans have become so frustrated over their inability to handle his intellect that they’ve lost all sense of tradition and decorum - and they've forgotten all about the interest of the American in their blind, fanatical, obsession with bringing down President Obama.
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And that hasn't been lost on the American people.  As a result, I’m sure that there were many patriotic conservatives in America who disagree with Obama's political philosophy, but voted for him in the last election in spite of that disagreement, because their primary concern was what was in the best interest of the country.  So the GOP’s biggest problems is not how they package their message, but making the mistake of equating being poor or middle class, with being stupid.
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Fox News Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry Tried to Embarrass
the President in Front of Another Foreign Leader. Watch How Adroitly Obama Handles Him.
Again, Without Bustin' a Sweat Bubble. These People Are Out of Their League.
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So yes, I’ve become an Obama cheerleader, and I never intend to apologize for that again, because Black people - and America as a whole - have a lot to be proud of in this president. He’s one of the last of a dying breed of true, old-school statesmen, who wear their flag pin on their hearts, rather than on their lapel. And as such, no one has ever represented us better. So as an American - and particularly, and African-American - I take great pride in that.
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Show ‘em how it’s done, Mr. President. Show 'em what it means to be president of all of the people . . . President of the United States of America.
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Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com

Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

A Retrospective: Hypocrisy, Self-Service, and Black-On-Black Hatred

BENEATH THE SPIN * ERIC L. WATTREE

Self-Hatred Running Rampant Among Black People
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A MISSISSIPPI STATE OF MIND
This is a reprise of an article that I did on August 8, 2008. I do retrospectives from time to time, because the 20/20 perspective of hindsight tends to place people and issues in perspective. Of particular interest in this article is the hubris and arrogance of Tavis Smiley and Cornel West when they were riding high in the Black community. Notice how they seemed to think that they held so much clout in the Black community that they felt that the, then, Sen. Obama, essentially had to get their approval to run for president.
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Also of note, is how Cornel West is scolding Sen. Obama for making the decision to declare his candidacy for President of the United States while standing in the shadow of Lincoln’s former statehouse in Springfield, Ill. instead of doing it on Tavis’ show. West says that Obama’s failure to come on Tavis’ show demonstrates that "this isn’t about us," as though Tavis’ show represented the Black community. And ironically, while West is declaring that Obama’s failure to appear demonstrates that Obama is "surrounded by people who can't be trusted," a Wells Fargo logo goes floating by behind him. The irony is, even as he spoke of trust, Tavis Smiley was engaged in roping poor and middle-class minorities into what later became known as the Wells Fargo "Ghetto Loan Scam," in which over 30 thousand poor and middle-class minorities were fleeced, many losing their homes and life savings. The Department of Justice declared it the second largest housing discrimination case in the nation’s history.
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As a Black man who is old enough to remember the courageously focused and determined lives of both Malcolm and Martin Luther King and their gruesome and untimely deaths, and educated enough to be cognizant of the painful sacrifices that generations of Black people have endured to make this, Barack Obama's moment - our moment - in history possible, I simply cannot find the words to adequately express my feelings of deep frustration and disgust towards the young brothers who heckled Sen. Obama during his St. Petersburg speech. For the very first time in my life, words completely fail me, but I now have a much better understanding of why the penalty for treason is so severe.
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Perhaps this example of mindless idiocy will give other Black people pause, however. Perhaps it will help those who tend to nitpick Sen. Obama to death to recognize that they, just like the hecklers in St. Petersburg, are mounting a meaningless assault on all of the hopes, dreams, and prayers whispered by millions of Black people from the day we first set foot on American soil.
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It is for precisely that reason that the hecklers have undoubtedly earned themselves a footnote in history. Considering the Black experience in America, their thoughtless irresponsibility will certainly stand out as one of the most stupid acts of self-mutilation in the history of mankind. But unfortunately, in the process they've managed to also taint the more thoughtful Black people in our community as well, since posterity will undoubtedly point to their ignorance as a prime example of why Black people, as a whole, have found it such an arduous struggle to rise above what has unfortunately become our station - at the very bottom of this society.
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It's easy to indulge in hyperbole, however. One should always substantiate one's assertions, so allow me to take a moment to build a simple scenario as proof of the St. Petersburg stupidity:
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If you're about to be lynched and a brother comes to your rescue, what kind of fool would stop his rescuer just as he's taking the rope away from around your neck, to say, "Wait a minute. I want to ask you a question before you touch this rope - why haven't you spoken out with more vigor in support of Affirmative Action?" Needless to say, such an act would represent the height of stupidity, but that's exactly what the St. Petersburg hecklers, and to a lesser extent, many other Black self-haters are doing during this election - and unnecessarily, since there was going to be a question and answer period after the speech anyway.
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I simply can't believe how stupid and shortsighted some of our people are proving themselves to be. It goes beyond stupid - it's a national embarrassment to every Black person with a brain. And in many cases, these are highly educated Black people. I began to suspect that we had a problem when Dr. Cornel West acted a fool on Tavis Smiley's "State of Black America" broadcast, on the very day that Sen. Obama declared his intent to seek the presidency.
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I'll never forget it. Just hours after this young Black man declared his candidacy for President of the United States in the shadow of the statehouse that was once occupied by Lincoln, and being wildly cheered by Blacks, Whites, young, old, rich, poor, Jew and gentile, I turned to Tavis' broadcast, hailed as "The State of Black America." Then with my eyes still damp with emotion, the very first thing I see is Dr. Cornel West ranting about Obama, and pointing out that he wasn't impressed.
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He suggested that Black people should be asking Obama, "How deep is your love for your people" and Where is your money coming from?" Then he went on to suggest that people associated with Sen. Obama didn't warrant our trust. But what was most instructive about his comments was what he didn't say. He, nor Jesse Jackson on FOX news, nor the St. Petersburg hecklers, had one critical word to say about McCain, or any of the hordes of Republican politicians that's been cutting our throats for the past seven years - and I've never even heard it rumored that Jesse thought Bush should be castrated.
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So at this point it has become abundantly clear that we have a serious problem in the Black community, and we need to confront it in a head-on and brutally forthright manner. The problem is glaringly clear, and now, undeniable. Many of us suffer from a severe case of self-hatred that we tend to cloak in petty grievances that have absolutely nothing to do with reality.
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GROSS HYPOCRISY:
WHEREVER I CAN GET MINE
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that Black people become unquestioning zombies in support of everything that Obama does - after all, he is a politician, and ALL politicians need to be kept on a short rein. In fact, I am still, highly critical, and highly disturbed by Obama's weak-kneed support of the recent FISA legislation. But in that case we're talking about his support for modifying the United States Constitution and diminishing our right to privacy. Everyone should speak out in protest on such issues. I cut off my monthly financial contribution to his campaign in response to that act. So I'm not an adherent of blind devotion, but I do believe in adhering to common sense - and common sense dictates that you don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
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But in the case of the St. Petersburg hecklers, and many other Black nitpickers, some are trying to hold Obama hostage to their narrow, self-centered agenda, and others are flat-out trying to sabotage his effort because they seem to believe that Obama's national influence and celebrity tends to diminish their accomplishments and standing in the community. That's not only sick, selfish, and self-defeating, but it's Naderian in its stupidity. What sense does it make to say, if you don't give me everything I want, I'm going to help the efforts of your opponent, who will assuredly give me nothing? The only possible way of defining such a stance is self-hatred, and gross stupidity.
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HEY, AREN'T YOU THE ONE WHO SAID
I COULDN'T BE TRUSTED!!!?
The St Petersburg hecklers provided McCain with the best moment he's had during this election. McCain couldn't have paid for better publicity if he had hired those brothers - and anyone old enough to remember "Cointelpro" will recognize that's not beyond the scope of possibility. Thus, the behavior of those brothers, and the banner they held up before the world might as well have said,
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"DOWN WITH BLACK PEOPLE. WE'RE TOO STUPID TO EMBRACE LIBERATION."
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Eric L. Wattree 
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.



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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Don’t Allow Yourselves to Be Bamboozled, America - Obama is One of This Nation’s Greatest Presidents

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Don’t Allow Yourselves to Be Bamboozled, America - Obama is One of This Nation’s Greatest Presidents
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There are Many people in the country who are going to accuse me of being an Obama cheerleader for what I’m about to say, but I’m not. My definition of a cheerleader is an ideologue who defends the leader of his or her team whether they are right or wrong. That’s not me. As a non-ideological progressive, I’m against mindless ideologues of any and every stripe. I’m a cheerleader for truth and for justice towards all, and it is my position that if you follow truth in the pursuit of justice, that negates the need to be ideological, because truth has no ideology, and neither does justice - and the truth is, Barack Hussein Obama is proving to be one of the greatest presidents that this country has ever had.
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A conservative might challenge my assertion by saying, "You admit to being a progressive. Isn't that an ideology in itself?" In response to such a challenge, I would assert that it is not. To be a progressive is to be cognizant of the fact that this country needs change, as oppose to "conserving" the dysfunction of the past, or the status quo. So to be a progressive is not an ideology; it's a simple recognition of reality.
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But, of course, there are many ideologues who are going to scoff at that assertion, because they’ve been blinded by the fog of their own ideology. For the same reason, there are many people in this country who are DETERMINED that you NEVER find out the truth about Barack Obama - which again, is, he is one of our GREATEST presidents - in fact, possibly among the top three. But he won’t get the recognition that he deserves until he passes in to history and his administration can be assessed objectively, and free of politics, self-service, and emotion.
.
There are three reasons why Obama critics are desperately trying to obscure the significance of Obama’s accomplishments. First, his competence blows the theory of White superiority all to Hell; secondly, White bigots are afraid that Obama’s success will cause the nation to want to elect more Black presidents, senators and congresspersons; and finally, Black "bligots" see Obama’s very existence as a slap in the face to their personal status, and their delusions of grandeur.
.
As a result, Obama’s critics are trying to keep America focused on their criticisms whether than the President’s accomplishments, which are numerous. A small example of which are listed directly below (with a more extensive list as an attachment at the end of this discussion) - any one of which, alone, would have insured any president a favored place in history:
.
1). He averted a second global Great Depression with his stimulus initiative.

2). He Brought America back from the Bush Disaster.

3). He saved the American auto industry.

4). He brought Osama Bin Laden to justice.

5). He punished Wall Street and got the American Taxpayer reimbursed for the Wall St. Crash.

6). He’s brought affordable health care to millions of Americans.

7). He’s lower the national deficit to its lowest point in 60 years.

8). He averted a war with Syria and got them to destroy their chemical weapons.

9). He’s got Iran to allow nuclear weapons inspectors broader access to their nuclear facilities.

10). He’s accomplished all of this with the Republican Party fighting him tooth-n-nail every step of the way.
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If George W. Bush and the Republicans had been as competent in handling 9/11 and the Iraqi war, it would have saved over a trillion dollars, a million Iraqi lives, and the lives of thousands of American troops who were either killed or wounded in the Iraqi atrocity. 
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Just imagine what Obama could have done - and still do - with a RESPONSIBLE Republican Party. Naturally, Obama haters are going to vehemently disagree with this assessment of President Obama, but when they do, simply ask them who was a greater president, and why? Then watch ‘em squirm.
.
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Eric L. Wattree http://wattree.blogspot.com/
http://wattree.blogspot.com/
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
.
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Do Black People See Obama As the Messiah?

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Do Black People See Obama As the Messiah?
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On Boyce Watkins’ site, Your Black World, Boyce displayed a banner saying, "Interesting: Al Sharpton compares President Obama’s struggles to the crucifixion of Jesus." Beneath the banner it says the following:
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"This past Easter, Sharpton spoke on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and compared the struggles of President Obama to the crucifixion of Jesus. He specifically stated that he is not comparing Obama to Jesus, but did say that the criticism that the president has received shows that ‘with every crucifixion, there is a resurrection,’ referring to the president [emphasis added]"
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Then when you clicked on the "article," there was no article. It was a two paragraph rant spewing unsubstantiated allegations, right out of the GOP play book, by one of Boyce Watkins’ closest cronies, Yvette Carnell, a self-proclaimed anarchist. It said:
.
"Critics of Sharpton, like Yvette Carnell, believe that the backslide has occurred because Sharpton was selected to "manage" the black community rather than represent it.
.
"Part of the reason that Sharpton may be inflexible in his position is that it was recently revealed that he was an FBI informant, after federal agents caught him in a drug deal and threatened him with prison time. Critics of Sharpton charge that once the FBI has you in its grasps, it would be very risky to be an enemy to the government."

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Okay, so what was the purpose of this? If Al Sharpton specifically made it a point to say that he wasn’t comparing Obama to Jesus Christ, what was the point of running the blurb in the first place? I’ll tell you what the point was - Boyce Watkins was going out of his way to stir up controversy where there was none, which only serves to disrupt unity in the Black community during a time when it’s needed more than ever (http://wattree.blogspot.com/2014/04/boyce-watkins-youre-making-complete.html).
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Sharpton was simply pointing out that the hostility toward Obama is similar to the hostility directed toward Jesus during his life, and he's absolutely right, so what’s so controversial about that? Common men go through many of the same experiences that Jesus did, Just like I'm sure that Obama and this writer have shared many common experiences as a result of being African-American males in America, but that doesn't mean that I'm comparing myself to Obama, or that Obama should be compared to me.
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Thus, Sharpton simply stated a fact that wasn't even worth writing about. So in typical demagogic fashion, an insinuation was simply left dangling in the air to be misinterpreted by the uninformed, and as fodder for those with malevolent intent toward the president to be spun whatever way they saw fit. Again, whoever wrote it, whether it was Watkins himself, or one of his cronies, was purposely trying to create a controversy by exploiting the racist claim that Black people see Obama as the Messiah.
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So why is that a racist assertion?
.
WHY ARE YOU CHARGING POOR
PEOPLE YOU'RE SUPPOSE TO LOVE?
The assertion is racist because it implies that Black people don't have sense enough to know what’s in our own interest; that we’re simply mindlessly supporting Barack Obama because he's Black; and that we don’t simply respect him, but we idolize him. It’s an assertion that’s designed to place Black people on the defensive, as though there’s something innately wrong with our respecting the first Black President of the United States, a Black man who's reached the highest level of power in the world.
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In addition, it completely ignores the fact that White people have been supporting and admiring White presidents since this nation's inception, yet, no one has ever suggested that they confused Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, or Ronald Reagan with the Messiah. So the hidden implication underlying the claim that Black people view Obama as the Messiah is that Black people don't have sense enough to know the difference between Jesus Christ and a politician - and no Black person should take that kindly, because it’s a not so subtle, but covert way, of calling us stupid.
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Thus, as Black people, we've got to learn to look for such hidden meanings and see through them. Because under the hidden meaning, there's also a hidden agenda. They want us to become so determined to prove to the world - and due to religious prohibition, ourselves - that we don't perceive Obama as the Messiah, that we'll curb our support of him to prove it. So we shouldn't buy into that ploy for a minute.
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When we’re confronted with such a ridiculous assertion - regardless to whether it’s made by White bigots, or Black bligots - we should immediately make it clear that we support Barack Obama because it’s in our interest to support him; and we respect him, because we see him as a man who deserves respect. But we’re not idiots. We know the difference between a living, breathing, human being, and Jesus Christ.
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Thereafter, you should dismiss the bigot, or bligot, out of hand.
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Eric L. Wattree
http://wattree.blogspot.com/
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
.
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The GOP: A DEMON’S DELIGHT

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE



The GOP:

A DEMON’S DELIGHT

Satan is busy preparing a special place
in Hell for his children.
Paul Ryan, Pat Robertson, the GOP,
his children all, 
and they’ve spread his dominion
across the Earth.
.
Yes, Lucifer is dancing on searing,
and red-hot embers as he watch
his loyal children corrupting
the name of the Lord,
and turning his words
of love into instruments of hate.
.
Listen carefully
and you can hear the dark moans
of erotic ecstasy as Satan looks upon
his children sitting in church, and
impersonating angels of God,
while faithfully harboring Satan's
spirit of hatred, hubris, and greed.
.
Yes, these are his children, all -
the children of Hell,
and they’ve done their job well;
they’ve starved the homeless,
slaughtered the weak, in the millions,
and demonized the good.
.
Yes indeed, they’ve served 
their father well,
and they’ve brought him
many grandchildren.
So like any proud father,
Beelzebub just can’t wait
to welcome them home.
.
. . . and I can't wait for the
reunion.




Eric L. Wattree
Http://wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)

Religious bigotry:
It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me -
it's just that God does.

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A Little Known Fact -The Statue of Liberty Wears Shackles


BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

A Little Known Fact -The Statue of Liberty Wears Shackles
 
For over a hundred and twenty years the Statue of Liberty has greeted immigrants to these shores with open arms and the promise of the kind of freedom that they had never known. As a result, that towering, stately, and majestic lady has come to represent the quintessential symbol of freedom, liberty, and justice for people all over the world. Just the sight of her brought hope and inspiration to millions of European immigrants as they entered New York Harbor, and that initial vision sustained them as they started their new lives in America.
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The scene must have seemed surreal as their boats slowly moved past her in the harbor. Oceans of tears must have flowed as the immigrants stared in awe at this magnificent lady. In her right hand she held the burning flame of passion and enlightenment - outstretched and high, as though reaching for the very face of God. In her left arm she held the tablet that represents the rule of law, and the guarantee of equal justice for all, and on her right foot, the broken shackle of a freed slave. That's right - millions of European immigrants were welcomed to America by the statue of a freed slave.
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On the pedestal upon which she stood, were the words that had inspired their journey. It says... "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse to your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Those magnificent words inspired millions over the years, yet, ironically, rang shallow for the very people this magnificent lady was created to represent.
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As a child in school I was taught that the idea of the Statue of Liberty was conceived by a Frenchman, Edouard Laboulaye, as a monument to the collaboration and friendship of the United States and France during the Revolutionary war, and that it was sculpted by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. But at the urging of one of our readers I revisited the issue, and did a little research. As a result, I found that Laboulaye did indeed conceive of the Statue of Liberty, but not as a monument to the Revolutionary War. The Statue of Liberty was conceived as a monument to the end of slavery, and to honor those men, women and children who had been enslaved.
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Laboulaye conceived of the Statue of Liberty in 1865. That was a hundred years after the Revolutionary War, but it just happened to be the very same year that the Civil War came to an end. And it also turns out that Laboulaye wasn't just any Frenchman - he was not only an abolitionist who had dedicated his entire life to the abolishment of slavery, he was a leader of the French abolitionist movement. In addition, the sculptor who actually created the Statue of Liberty, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, was connected with the abolitionist movement as well.
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In an Associated Press interview, Richard Newman, a research officer at Harvard University's W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research is quoted as saying, "It is widely believed in academic circles that Laboulaye meant for the statue to honor the slaves, as well as mark the recent Union victory in the Civil War and the life of Abraham Lincoln."
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The Statue of Liberty wasn't actually completed until 1886, but there's a 21 inch replica of the statue that was completed in 1870 on display at the Museum of the City of New York. That replica, or, original, is not white, it's terra cotta (brownish-orange), and it is said to have been designed in the likeness of a Black woman. In addition, the replica has a broken shackle around her left hand. The 151 foot statue in New York Harbor has a more . . . Discrete shackle around her foot.
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The words at the base of the Statue of Liberty from the poem, "The New Colossus," by Emma Lazarus wasn't added to the statue until 1903, during a time when there was a huge surge in European immigration, and that's when the fiction began. During an interview with the Associated Press, Rebecca M. Joseph, a Boston-based Park service anthropologist is quoted as saying, "There is wide agreement that Liberty's now-familiar association with immigration was not planned by the statue's creators."
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Nevertheless the thoroughly ironic scene of European immigrants weeping as they passed the Lady's flame must have played out thousands of times. It's the stuff that movies are made of - and just like most movies, the irony of a magnificent subplot churned discretely beneath the surface. One of the ironies is that now, many the grandchildren of some of those very same immigrants - those indigent immigrants that Lady Liberty welcomed into this country with open arms - have used voting fraud, unfair labor practices, redlining, blatant discrimination, and every other device, in an attempt to undermine the very people that we now know the Lady was originally created to embrace.
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So irony is the operative word in this piece, and exquisite in its irony is the deplorable state of ingratitude of many of the people that this magnificent symbol of Black liberation welcomed to the country. It is all but a complete indictment on human nature that some of the very same people that Lady Liberty served as a symbol of hope, and who she welcomed to this country as literal vagrants, would now attempt to slam the door of hope and justice on the very people that she was created to enshrine.
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Considering that ironic twist brought a tear to my eye as I researched this issue, because as a kid, I couldn't help but be awed by the majesty of that Lady - and that was in spite of the fact that I thought she was created for everybody but people like me. But now to find that she was created specifically for me, and even that was stolen, is almost too much to bear. Just think of how many young Black lives might have been saved or salvaged by just the simple nudge to their self-esteem that something so grand and majestic was created as a tribute to them and their struggle. That knowledge alone could have given them the sense of pride, dignity, and purpose that might very well have sustained them throughout their lives.
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But in spite of that, or maybe because of it, the Lady continues to hold her flame high as a tantalizing subplot silently plays itself out beneath the surface. For even as pernicious ingrates continued to indulged in their evil machinations, yet another immigrant quietly sailed passed the Lady's burning flame. He was a solitary young man from Kenya who presented papers in the name of Barack Obama.
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I'm sure the immigration official laughed as he examined the papers and said, "Who!!!?" But little did he know that in one generation the entire world would be able to answer his question . . . and Lady Liberty would Smile, as she continued to raise her burning flame of justice, toward the face of God.
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Life is indeed ironic, isn't it?
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.
 

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Dr. Boyce Watkins: You’re Making A Complete Damn Fool of Yourself

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Dr. Boyce Watkins: You’re Making A Complete Damn Fool of Yourself

Dr. Watkins, every time you open your mouth these days you seem to have something uncomplimentary to say about President Obama. You always seem to be implying that he's not doing enough for Black people. You don't seem to understand that it's not the president's job to go house to house passing out gift baskets. It's the president's job to try to create an environment where we can help ourselves, and it's our job to organize the community to establish the political clout to assist him in that effort. But I have yet to hear you address that side of the equation at all - or at least, not with the same kind of energy that you're constantly attacking President Obama.  
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The entire agenda of you and your ilk seems to be promoting a culture of whining, begging, and complaining. You're telling the people what they WANT to hear - that everything is everybody else's fault - instead of what they NEED to hear - that we're bringing some of these problems on ourselves by failing to address important issues in the community.
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I don’t know why so many of you so-called Black scholars don’t seem to understand that there are some things that even the president can’t do - and signing a bill abolishing ignorance is at the very top of that list. That's what it would take to accomplish some of the objectives that you and your counterparts are criticizing President Obama for. That’s also what lets me know that much of the ranting and raving that many of you so-called Black intellectuals are doing is disingenuous at best, and a form of unbelievably stupid "bligotry" (Black on Black bigotry) at worst.
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The president can’t just wave a magic wand and instantly make everyone upwardly mobile. It doesn’t
work that way. There’s an educational process that goes along with upward mobility, and that goes for whether the person is Black, or White. While there are many in the Black community who have the skills to hit the ground running, there are others who need to be trained, motivated, and refocused in order to simply maintain a job that pays high enough wages to lift them out of poverty, even if a job was given to them.
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But it seems that you'll never be satisfied until the day that Obama throws is fist in the air and says, "This is what I'm going to do for my people." That's what causes me to question the validity of your claim to be intellectuals. Because if you were indeed the intellectuals that you claim to be, certainly you would have considered the ramifications of Obama setting such a precedent. Think about it - if President Obama sets a precedent of saying, "This is what I'm doing for Black people," what are you going to say when the next White president comes into office and says, "This is what I'm going to do for White people?" He'll call it the "Obama Doctrine." So clearly, what you're demanding can only be characterized as poorly thought through at best, and absolutely boneheaded if viewed less charitably. 
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In addition, with all of your "education" it would seem that you would understand simple eighth grade civics. The United States Constitution gives the United States House of Representatives SOLE control over government spending. And as I assume you’re aware, the House of Representatives is controlled by the Republicans, so Obama can't do anything for anyone without getting the Republicans to go along with him. Yet, all of your guns are aimed at this one lone Black man instead of the Republicans who are trying to abolish the Voters’ Rights Act, obstruct everything that the president is trying to do for the people as a whole, and who are leaving
no stone unturned to reinstate Jim Crow and drag America back into the 19th Century. Why is that?
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I know you’re not stupid, but you’re not saying a mumbling word about these fascists who are, literally, the domestic enemy of not only Black people, but ALL poor and middle-class people in the United States. You're purposely making it sound like all the president has to do is go in his pocket and throw some change our way, but he's just being heartless and stingy. Please explain to me why you're misleading the people like that.
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People like yourself are even trying to blame the prison industrial complex on Obama. Don’t you know enough about state’s rights to know that’s a local issue that you should be taking up within each state? This is not a monarchy. President Obama is merely a president, not a king, or a dictator with absolute power.
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When we say "federal government," that means that this country is a "federation." Each state is like a little country in and of itself, and each of the fifty states have come together to form "the United States." So President Obama cannot dictate how they run their prison systems: "Federation - a country formed by separate states that have given certain powers to a central government while keeping control over local matters." 
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Due to the fact that you didn't seem to understand this simple concept of government, I decided to research your background, and it was very enlightening. Your bio says, "Watkins struggled in school, earning very poor grades all throughout. His teachers placed him in special education and also told him that he was not smart enough to go to college." So I figured that they must have covered the above concept of government while you were struggling through special education instruction. 
.
But even if you don’t understand the concept of presidential powers, I would think that simple common sense would suggest that if you’re worried about Black people being used to support a prison system for profit, instead of running all over the country blaming it on President Obama, your time would be better spent by anchoring down in the community and educating young Black people to the need to adopt a lifestyle that won’t lead to getting busted. I mean, with all of your tremendous intellect, did that ever even occur to you? I haven’t heard a word on the subject.
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Boyce, people like yourself are spewing millions of words about what Obama’s not doing, but what are you doing? It seems to me that if you were serious about your concern for the poor, instead of holding televised seminars and book signings, you’d be in the community with your sleeves up helping to upgrade the skill sets of those who need it - or at the very least, helping to promote the idea of how important it is to do so. 
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That’s what Barack Obama did. As the first Black president of the Harvard Law Review, when Obama graduated from law school he could have gone to work as a law clerk for the Supreme Court, or pursued wealth by going into any one of the top law firms in the country. He could have also tried to make a name for himself by running all over the country on a bus chasing sound bytes, selling books, doing lectures, and trying to coin phrases and sound profound. But he didn't do that. Instead, he went quietly back into the community and went to work helping people to get their heaters fixed. That's the way to show that you care. You, on the other hand, have been all over the internet trying to SELL knowledge to poor Black people for $40 plus tax. If you have knowledge that you think will help the community, why not just give it to them?  Why cause even more hardship by forcing them to come up with money that they don't have?
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I’ve  been very reluctant to put you on blast like this - I even took the time to warn you that it was coming if you continued your counterproductive nonsense - but you, and other Black people of your ilk, have become so disgustingly reflective of 19th Century Uncle Toms that the urge to speak out just became overwhelming. And I'm sure that many others are going to follow suit, because it seems that some of you people just can’t stand to see another Black man move forward, and watching that attitude being played out with such disingenuous self-righteousness makes me want to throw up every time I even see a picture of either you, Tavis Smiley, or Cornel West - and it's not just me.  I've spoken to other Black people who told me that they find your attitude, literally, sickening, because it's so petty.
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Thus, while you can continue to try to hide behind your self-righteous rhetoric, and claim that all you’re interested in is the best interest of the Black community, the only people you’re fooling is a handful of your fellow backward-thinking followers and yourself. The vast majority of the Black community see what you’re about very clearly - just like White bigots, it’s simply killing you that Barack Obama is President of the United States instead of the White House butler. You see it as diminishing your accomplishments, and the fact is, it does. But that’s not the president’s fault, it’s yours. So hating him for his success is counterproductive. You still Have time. Put your brain cells to work searching for an idea to revolutionize the world instead of putting all your energy into hating. Because regardless to how much energy you spend hating Obama, at the end of the day, he'll still be President of the United States, and you'll still be insignificant.
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So Boyce, you should sit down, read a little history, and take inventory of yourself. Because the fact is, people like you, Tavis Smiley, and Cornel West are not only undermining the Black community by making it easier for White bigots to demonize the first Black President of the United States, but you’re also embarrassing the community by making complete damn fools of yourselves, and thereby, undermining the credibility of legitimate Black scholars and intellectuals.
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Eric L. Wattree
http://wattree.blogspot.com/
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
.
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

APPENDIX
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Returned The Executive Branch To Fiscal Responsibility

1. Within his first week, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse. http://1.usa.gov/dUvbu5

2. Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money. http://n.pr/hcgBn1

3. On his first full day, he froze White House salaries. http://on.msnbc.com/ewJUIx

4. He appointed the first Federal Chief Information Officer to oversee federal IT spending.http://www.cio.gov

5. He committed to phasing out unnecessary and outdated weapons systems. To that end, he also signed the Democratic-sponsored Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act, which attempted to put a stop to waste, fraud and abuse in the defense procurement and contracting system. http://bit.ly/hOw1t1 http://bit.ly/fz8GAd

6. Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. http://bit.ly/hwKhKa

Prevented a Bush Depression and Improved the Economy
7. Pushed through and signed the Democratic-sponsored American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as "the stimulus package." The bill passed, even though only three Republicans voted for it. In a major departure from the previous administration, he launched recovery.gov, a website that allows taxpayers to track spending from the Act. http://1.usa.gov/ibiFSs http://1.usa.gov/e3BJMk

8. The Bush-led Great Recession was costing the economy nearly 800,000 jobs per month by the time President Obama took office. But by the end of his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy by 3.5%. http://reut.rs/i46CEE

9. Not only did he completed the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, he also leaned on the banks and others, and recovered virtually all of the bail-out money. http://1.usa.gov/eA5jVS http://bit.ly/eCNrD6

10. He created the Making Home Affordable home refinancing plan. http://1.usa.gov/goy6zl

11. Oversaw the creation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years. http://bit.ly/hrrnjY

12. Along with Democrats, and almost no Republicans, implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs. http://bit.ly/ibhpxr Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest. http://bit.ly/gj7mt5 This resulted in GM returning to its place as the top car company in the world. http://lat.ms/zIJuQx

13. Doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency. http://bit.ly/eYD4nf

14. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system, and create a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown. http://abcn.ws/g18Fe7

15. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was designed to to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices. http://1.usa.gov/gIaNcS

16. Increased infrastructure spending after years of neglect. http://bit.ly/f77aOw

17. Signed the Democratic-sponsored and passed Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures. The bill also provided $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness, and to stabilize the housing market. http://bit.ly/eEpLFn

18. Through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, he and Congressional Democrats provided tax credits to first-time home buyers, which helped the U.S. housing market recovery. http://bit.ly/dZgXXw http://bit.ly/gORYfL

19. Initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses. http://1.usa.gov/eu0u0b

20. Created business.gov, which allows for online collaboration between small businesses and experts re managing a business. (The program has since merged with SBA.gov.) http://www.business.gov

21. Played a lead role in getting the G-20 Summit to commit to a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis. http://nyti.ms/gHlgp5

22. Took steps to improve minority access to capital. http://bit.ly/f9xVE7

23. Signed an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to review all federal regulations and remove any unnecessary and/or burdensome regulations from the books. http://1.usa.gov/Lpo5bd

24. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost. http://1.usa.gov/ez30D

25. Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, thereby cutting ties between energy companies and the government. http://nyti.ms/bw1MLu

26. Along with Congressional Democrats, provided funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police and firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession. http://bit.ly/g0IKWR

27. Used recovered TARP money to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan. http://on.msnbc.com/i1i8eV

28. Crafted and signed an executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans. http://bit.ly/eyqsNE

29. China’s largest manufacturer, Foxconn, is building a large plant in Pennsylvania http://cnnmon.ie/1k7LT4S

30. Worked with Apple Computer to get them to build more product here, and thecompany is building two large plants to manufacture products here; one in Texas http://zd.net/1nkpt2O and one in Arizona http://bit.ly/1mXY5Vg

31. Oversaw increase of manufacturing jobs by more than 500,000 since 2010, and created an institute to invest in more manufacturing jobs in the technology fields of the future. http://nyti.ms/1egyXrV

32. Ordering all federal contractors to pay a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour, leading the way to a national increase. http://wapo.st/1iaU5kd

Brought Much-Improved Transparency and Better Government
33. Signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists to anyone in the Executive Branch. http://bit.ly/fsBACN

34. Signed an order banning anyone from working in an agency they had lobbied in previous years, and put strict limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House. http://nyti.ms/gOrznV

35. Held the first-ever first online town hall from the White House, and took questions from the public. http://bit.ly/gVNSgX

36. Became the first to stream every White House event, live. http://1.usa.gov/kAgOP5

37. Established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities. http://www.serve.gov

38. Provided the first voluntary disclosure of the White House Visitors Log in history. http://1.usa.gov/hQ7ttV

39. Issued an Executive Order on Presidential Records, which restored the 30-day time frame for former presidents to review records, and eliminated the right for the vice president or family members of former presidents to do the reviews. Provides the public with greater access to historic White House documents, and severely curtails the ability to use executive privilege to shield them. http://1.usa.gov/gUetLb

40. Improved aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, and issued new guidelines to make FOIA more open and transparent when processing FOIA requests. http://1.usa.gov/gjrnp2

Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection
41. Ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money. http://huff.to/eAi9Qq

42. Along with Congressional Democrats, pushed through and got passed Dodd-Frank, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression. http://bit.ly/hWCPg0 http://bit.ly/geHpcD

43. Through Dodd-Frank legislation, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau http://1.usa.gov/j5onG

44. Through Dodd-Frank, the Executive Branch fashioned rules that reduce the influence of speculators in the oil market. http://bit.ly/MDnA1t

45. Fashioned rules so that banks can no longer use YOUR money to invest in high-risk financial instruments that work against their own customers’ interests. http://bit.ly/fnTayj

46. Supported the concept of allowing stockholders to vote on executive compensation. http://bit.ly/fnTayj

47. Endorsed and supported the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 that would close offshore tax avoidance loopholes. http://bit.ly/esOdfB http://bit.ly/eG4DPM

48. Negotiated a deal with Swiss banks that now permits the US government to gain access to the records of criminals and tax evaders. http://bit.ly/htfDgw

49. Signed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, which closed many of the loopholes that allowed companies to send jobs overseas, and avoid paying US taxes by moving money offshore. http://1.usa.gov/bd1RTq

50. Established a Consumer Protection Financial Bureau designed to protect consumers from financial sector excesses. http://bit.ly/fnTayj

51. Oversaw and then signed a Democratic bill constituting the most sweeping food safety legislation since the Great Depression. http://thedc.com/gxkCtP

52. Through the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, extended the False Claims Act to combat fraud by companies and individuals usingmoney from the TARP and Stimulus programs. http://bit.ly/SLTcSa

53. Set up rules for banks in handling legal marijuana money. http://nyti.ms/1b80o2K

Enhanced Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination
54. Along with Congressional Democrats, advocated for and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which made it a federal crime to assault anyone based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. http://bit.ly/gsMSJ7

55. Pushed through, signed and demanded the Pentagon enact a repeal of the discriminatory "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" policy that forced soldiers to lie in order to be eligible to fight for their country, and put our troops at risk by disqualifying many qualified soldiers from helping. http://bit.ly/fdahuH http://bit.ly/mZV4Pz

56. Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. http://1.usa.gov/g2RLCj

57. Appointed more openly gay officials than anyone in history. http://bit.ly/g1lA7D

58. Appointed first openly transgender Cabinet Official in History. http://bit.ly/58zUp7

59. Changed HUD rules to prohibit gender and sexual orientation-based discrimination in housing bit.ly/9RxEnP

60. Changed his mind and publicly expressed support for the right to enter into a same-sex marriage. http://bit.ly/JsiFKp

61. Issued a Presidential Memorandum reaffirming the rights of gay couples to make medical decisions for each other. http://1.usa.gov/aUueGT

62. Wrote and signed an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies evaluate the effect of their policies and programs on women and families. http://bit.ly/e1puTk http://1.usa.gov/rFfqMM

63. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers. This was after the GOP blocked the bill in 2007. Only 5 Republican Senators voted for the bill. http://bit.ly/fT3Cxg

64. Expanded funding for the Violence Against Women Act. http://1.usa.gov/dSbI0x

65. Under his guidance, National Labor Relations Board issued final rules that require all employers to prominently post employees’ rights where all employees or prospective employees can see it, including all websites and intranets. http://1.usa.gov/qu2EhQ

66. Advocated that United Nations adopt a policy supporting gay rights worldwide. http://lat.ms/pQe1RS

67. Issued an order requiring hospitals to allow visitation by same-sex couples. http://reut.rs/llNJek

68. Appointed Kareem Dale as the first ever Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy. http://1.usa.gov/fi5IY0

69. Helped Democrats in Congress pass and signed the Civil Rights History Act. http://bit.ly/th0JC8

70. Established the White House Council of Native American Affairs, to improve government-to-government relations with Native American nations. http://1.usa.gov/1cIEeEv

71. Formed a commission to examine and make recommendations for fixing the broken voting system. http://wapo.st/16K0D

72. As soon as the Supreme Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act, he moved to extend federal benefits to same-sex couples. http://wapo.st/1avDjue

73. At a press conference August 9, 2013, gave up a small measure of executive power, promising to create adversarial process in FISA regarding NSA surveillance. http://1.usa.gov/1dQmnyQ

74. Shattered another glass ceiling by naming Janet Yellen chair of the Federal Reserve beginning Feb. 1, 2014. http://usat.ly/1gqMBfk

75. Appointed several prominent gay athletes and others, and plans to show US government’s commitment to gay rights to anti-gay Russia. http://on.cpsj.com/1fckN9h


Major Improvements in Foreign Relations, American Status Around the World
76. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office. http://bit.ly/hZycda

77. As he promised, he gave a speech at a major Islamic forum in Cairo early in his administration.http://nyti.ms/dKvY4g

78. Helped to restore America’s reputation around the world as a global leader that does the "right thing" in world affairs, at least according to the rest of the world. http://bit.ly/h743y7 http://bit.ly/ho4TCr

79. Re-established and reinforced our partnership with NATO and other allies on strategic international issues. http://1.usa.gov/e7QuDj

80. Closed a number of secret detention facilities. http://nyti.ms/rpUc9l

81. Improved relations with Middle East countries by appointing special envoys. http://1.usa.gov/tiGAGe

82. Pushed forward the first realistic Middle East peace strategy in more than a decade, without abandoning the two-state solution. http://wapo.st/1avyste

83. Pushed for military to emphasize devlopment of foreign language skills. http://bit.ly/AxUCLV

84. Offered $400 million to the people living in Gaza, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to stop inciting violence. http://bit.ly/9axfWh

85. Refused to give Israel the green light to attack Iran over their possible nuclear program, and thus avoid another war that Republicans wanted. http://bit.ly/xVmSZK

86. Worked with Democratic Congress to make donations to Haiti tax deductible in 2009. http://huff.to/6YkAVY

87. Established a new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. http://1.usa.gov/eX28DP

88. Issued Executive Order blocking interference and helping to stabilize Somalia. http://1.usa.gov/hxdf8U

89. Established new, more reasonable policies in our relations with Cuba, such as allowing Cuban-Americans to visit their families and send money to support them. http://n.pr/hY3Kwa http://nyti.ms/emQBde

90. Ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It was Republicans (and, unfortunately, progressive Democrats) who prevented follow through. http://bit.ly/eW6CVF

91. Ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called "enhanced interrogation." He ordered interrogators to limit their actions to the Army Field manual. http://bit.ly/g6MTuC

92. Ordered all secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed. http://bbc.in/h6N9ax

93. Released the Bush torture memos. http://bit.ly/hWJ5z0

94. On his second day in office, he signed a detailed Executive Order that banned torture, reversed all Bush torture policies, and put the United States in compliance with the Geneva Convention. http://1.usa.gov/dL6Zve http://nyti.ms/hzWWys

95. In response to the emerging "Arab Spring," he created a Rapid Response fund, to assist emerging democracies with foreign aid, debt relief, technical assistance and investment packages in order to show that the United States stands with them. http://bit.ly/zfmGv9

96. Ended the F-22 program, saving $4 billion. Though the single-seat, twin-engine, fighter aircraft cost $358 million each, and the military had 187 built, the F-22 never flew a combat mission. http://slate.me/PYzmzT (Just as an aside, that "fiscally conservative" Republican Party fought to keep it.)

97. Passed the Iran Sanctions Act, to prevent war and encourage the Iranian government to give up their nuclear program. http://1.usa.gov/wLtNjb

98. Ended the Iraq War. http://tgr.ph/ru0tyS

99. Worked to keep our withdrawal from Afghanistan on track, despite GOP opposition.http://reut.rs/1cIOsF1 Reiterated that commitment in 2014. http://nyti.ms/1exnmRF

100. Authorized and oversaw a secret mission by SEAL Team Six to rescue two hostages held by Somali pirates. http://bit.ly/y8c9Fz

101. Through United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, helped negotiate a peaceful split of Sudan into two countries, this allowing for the creation of an independent South Sudan. http://reut.rs/qzE0Tj

A More Realistic Approach to "Defense" and National Security
102. Created a comprehensive new strategy for dealing with the international nuclear threat. http://1.usa.gov/gDX1nE

103. Authorized a $1.4 billion reduction in Star Wars program in 2010. http://1.usa.gov/gLFZl2

104. Restarted nuclear nonproliferation talks and built up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols to where they had been before Bush. http://lat.ms/gkcl3i

105. Signed and pushed through ratification a new SALT Treaty. http://bit.ly/f3JVtw

106. Negotiated and signed a new START Treaty that will lst until at least 2021. http://1.usa.gov/cI1bC4

107. Through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), reversed the Bush Administration and committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq. http://bit.ly/hk73OJ

108. Developed first comprehensive strategy with regard to Afghanistan and Pakistan designed to facilitate the defeat of al Qaeda and the withdrawal of most troops, as well as the rebuilding of Afghanistan. http://wapo.st/ee4Xcs

109. Returned our focus to Afghanistan, stabilized the country, and began the process of withdrawing our troops from the country. http://bit.ly/lNXUna

110. Negotiated a deal with Afghan govenment, to withdraw troops and military support, while assisting in rebuilding and modernizing of the country. http://bit.ly/K362an

111. Took steps to severely weaken al Qaeda and limited their ability to terrorize the world. http://yhoo.it/n5lXs6

112. Negotiated and signed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty with India. http://1.usa.gov/aHp0Cn

113. Took decisive action to use NATO to limit the slaughter of innocents in Libya, so that the Libyan people could topple the despotic Khadaffy government and determine their own fate. http://aje.me/qAh4Sj

114. Got Egyptian President/dictator Mubarak to leave the Egyptian government to the people, to determine their own fate. http://f24.my/efvgNZ

115. In 2011, reoriented American focus from the Middle East to the Asian-Pacific region by simultaneouly engaging China and crafting new alliances with Asian countries uncomfortable with Chinese behavior. http://bit.ly/RGlMDi

116. Restored federal agencies such as FEMA to the point that they have been able to manage a huge number of natural disasters successfully. http://bit.ly/h8Xj7z

117. Authorized Navy SEALS to successfully secure the release of a US captain held by Somali pirates and increased patrols off the Somali coast. http://nyti.ms/efBO7B

118. Has repeatedly beefed up border security http://bit.ly/mMYB4i

119. Ordered and oversaw the Navy SEALS operation that killed Osama bin Laden. http://bit.ly/jChpgw

120. Throughan executive order, established the Homeland Security Partnership Council, which will attempt to enhance the nation’s ability to "address homeland security priorities, from responding to natural disasters to preventing terrorism, by utilizing diverse perspectives, skills, tools, and resources." http://1.usa.gov/VJjLXO

121. Breaking with presidential tradition, especially recent tradition, instead of just attacking Syria in the wake of chemical weapons attacks on Syrians, Obama ordered a full report on the decision-making process, should he decide to order one. http://cbsn.ws/184RFgu

Returned Government to Treating Soldiers and Veterans with Dignity and Respect
122. Along with Congressional Democrats, not only reauthorized families of fallen soldiers to be able to visit when the body arrives at Dover AFB, but also provided funding for it. Ended the media blackout on coverage of the return of fallen soldiers. http://nyti.ms/glqN66 http://bbc.in/gWSSkA

123. Funded Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with an extra $1.4 billion to improve veterans’ services. http://1.usa.gov/huhqfo

124. Provided active combat troops with better body armor. http://bit.ly/hzSv2h

125. Created Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program for military personnel, in order to improve the quality of their medical care. http://1.usa.gov/f4yaxW

126. Put an end to the Bush-era stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan beyond their enlistment date. (personal note: my son will be in harm’s way for six fewer months with Obama as president, so you know I love this one.) http://nyti.ms/e2YQ7Q

127. Along with Congressional Democrats, supported and signed Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which made more money available to enable better medical care for veterans. http://1.usa.gov/fN4ur1

128. Along with Congressional Democrats, ushered through largest spending increase in 30 years for Department of Veterans Affairs, with money to go to improved medical facilities, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities. http://1.usa.gov/gY8O3x

129. Created the Green Vet Initiative, which provided special funding to the Labor Department to provide veterans with training in green jobs. http://bit.ly/epwUQY

130. Initiated and signed a recruitment and employment plan to get more veterans into government jobs. http://bit.ly/b48coi

131. Oversaw a $4.6 billion expansion of the Veterans Administration budget to pay for more mental health professionals. http://bit.ly/gjzTxX

132. Signed the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, which ensures that spouses of military personnel who are forced to move because their spouse is posted for military duty will be able to avoid state taxes in their temporary residence. http://bit.ly/1Gh0NX

133. Issued an Executive Order to improve access to mental health care for veterans, military personnel and their families. http://1.usa.gov/TP7PVZ

Refocused the Federal Government on Education, Made Rational Reforms
134. Repeatedly increased funding for student financial aid, and at the same time cut the banks completely out of the process, thus us creating greater accountability. http://bit.ly/gYWd30 http://bit.ly/e9c7Dr http://bit.ly/eEzTNq

135. Reformed student loan program, to make it possible for students to refinance at a lower rate. http://nyti.ms/dMvHOt

136. Created a rating system for colleges, so that those applying for student financial aid know better what they’re paying for. http://bit.ly/14Dn7UL

137. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , invested heavily in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education. http://1.usa.gov/gGRIAr

138. Created the Race to the Top program, which encouraged states to come up with effective school reforms and rewards the best of them. http://bit.ly/NHtZ7L

139. Oversaw major expansion of broadband availability in K-12 schools nationwide. http://bit.ly/fNDcj3

140. Oversaw major expansion in school construction. http://bit.ly/fYwNrV

141. Also through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he put $5 billion into early education, including Head Start. http://1.usa.gov/tzT2Rr

142. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as GI Bill 2.0 http://bit.ly/hPhG7J

143. Oversaw expansion of the Pell Grants program, to expand opportunity for low and middle income students to go to college. http://bit.ly/hI6tXz

144. Along with Democratic Congress, passed and signed Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which provided an extra $12.2 billion in funds. http://1.usa.gov/dQvtUe

145. Took major new steps to protec students from ineffective for-profit colleges through "gainful employment" measures, whereby schools have to demonstrate that its students actually find work to get federal aid. http://1.usa.gov/jkzQe2

145. With First Lady Michelle Obama, passed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which will improve nutrition in schools and make children healthier. http://1.usa.gov/GAXkSk

146. In his continuing effort to make college more affordabl and accountable, will begin rating colleges with regard to affordability and value. http://bit.ly/14Dn7UL

Took an Adult View on Science, Technology and Health Care
147. Created a Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making. http://1.usa.gov/g2SDuw

148. Opened up process for fast-tracking patent approval for green energy projects. http://bit.ly/j0KV2U

149. Eliminated Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, and provided increased federal support for biomedical and stem cell research. http://bit.ly/h36SSO http://ti.me/edezge

150. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, committed more federal funding, about $18 billion, to support non-defense science and research labs. http://nyti.ms/fTs9t7

151. Signed Democratic-sponsored Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first comprehensive attempt to improve the lives of Americans living with paralysis. http://bit.ly/fOi2rb

152. Expanded the Nurse-Family Partnership program, which provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families, to cover more first-time mothers.http://bit.ly/jRRRJc

153. Obama EPA reversed research ethics standards which allowed humans to be used as "guinea pigs" in tests of the effects of chemicals, to comply with numerous codes of medical ethics. http://bit.ly/bKgqdS

154. Conducted a cyberspace policy review. http://1.usa.gov/gmbdvC

155. Provided financial support for private sector space programs. http://bit.ly/fn8ucr

156. Oversaw enhanced earth mapping, to provide valuable data for agricultural, educational, scientific, and government use. http://bit.ly/dNTRyP

157. Along with Democrats in Congress, ushered through and signed a bill authorizing FDA to regulate tobacco. http://on.msnbc.com/fiKViB As a result, the FDA has Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients and banned sale of cigarettes falsely labeled as "light."

158. Through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provided $500 million for Health Professions Training Programs. http://bit.ly/ecQSgA

159. Increased funding for community-based prevention programs. http://bit.ly/frMPG3

160. Oversaw a 50% decrease in cost of prescription drugs for seniors. http://bit.ly/e5b1iq http://1.usa.gov/fVNkt9

161. Eliminated the Bush-era practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug companies on price. http://bit.ly/fOkG5b

162. Two weeks after taking office, signed Democratic-sponsored Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which increased the number of children covered by health insurance by 4 million. http://bit.ly/fDEzGv

163. Urged Congress to investigate Anthem Blue Cross for raising premiums 39% without explanation. Democratic Rep. Waxman responded by launching a probe, and Anthem Blue Cross put increase on hold for two months. http://yhoo.it/e8Tj9C

164. Ushered through and signed Affordable Care Act, which expanded health insurance coverage to at least 30 million more people, ended many common insurance company practices that are often detrimental to those with coverage. He also established healthcare.gov, so that taxpayers could keep up with developments. http://www.healthcare.gov/

165. Through ACA, allowed children to be covered under their parents’ policy until they turned 26. http://nyti.ms/fNB26V

166. Through the ACA, provided tax breaks to allow 3.5 million small business to provide health insurance to their employees, and 29 million people will receive tax breaks to help them afford health insurance. http://nyti.ms/fNB26V

167. Through the ACA, expanded Medicaid to those making up to 133% of the federal poverty level. http://nyti.ms/ekMWpo

168. Through the ACA, health insurance companies now have to disclose how much of your premium actually goes to pay for patient care. http://nyti.ms/fNB26V

169. Provisions in the ACA have already resulted in Medicare costs actually declining slightly this fiscal year, for the first time in many years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The increase in 2011 was 4%, which is very low compared to the average 12% annual inflation rate during previous 40 years.http://1.usa.gov/oMxpTh

170. Created the HIV Care Continuum Initiative, to strengthen the government’s ability to respond to the continuing domestic HIV epidemic, after years of Republicans weakening the government’s ability to deal with the crisis. http://1.usa.gov/1iLED0t

171. Expanded space exploration and discovery options to include more players. http://1.usa.gov/13qmZpm

172. Through the Connect America Fund, pushed through and received FCC approval for a move of $8 billion in subsidies away from telephone landlines to assist lower-income rural families in accessing broadband. http://lat.ms/vhRUEs http://bit.ly/129V3SY

173. In the wake of the West Fertilizer tragedy, in which an entire small town was devastated by an explosion at a fertilizer plant, in part because Republican negligence let the company do whatever it wanted, formed the Chemical Safety and Security Working Group, to work on measures to prevent another such event. http://1.usa.gov/18kHSlA

Strengthened the Middle Class and Families, and Fought Poverty
174. Worked to provide affordable, high-quality child care to working families. http://bit.ly/fNfidS

175. Cracked down on companies that were previously denying sick pay, vacation and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare tax payments through abuse of the employee classification of independent contractor. http://nyti.ms/fOGLcj

176. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , cut taxes for 95% of America’s working families. http://bit.ly/eSEI4F

177. Tax rates for average working families are the lowest since 1950. http://bit.ly/f74pD8

178. Extended and fully funded the patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax for 10 years. http://bit.ly/eFeSdP

179. Extended discounted health coverage under the COBRA health insurance law for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months, and he’s also extended unemployment benefits more than a few times. http://aol.it/evtVxD http://nyti.ms/emrqKJ http://bit.ly/hOtIpg http://bit.ly/fTT7kz

180. Provided a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps). http://nyti.ms/gfLqyM

181. Signed an Executive Order that established the White House Office of Urban Affairs. http://wapo.st/eWECA8

182. Included the Buffet Rule in his 2014 budget proposal, thus trying to fulfill a campaign promise, to make sure tax rates are fair between the rich and the middle class. http://1.usa.gov/19PkdQo

183. Used the fiscal cliff negotiations to extend for five additional years the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides tax credits to families for college-related expenses, thus saving those families up to $10,000. http://onforb.es/17zYg3u

Concrete Steps to Improve The Environment and Address Our Energy Needs
184. Fast-tracked regulations to allow states to enact fuel efficiency standards that exceeded federal standards. http://nyti.ms/e8e94x

185. Fast-tracked increased fuel economy standards for vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year. It was the first time such standards had been increased in a decade. http://politi.co/hiaPKM

186. Oversaw establishment of an Energy Partnership for the Americas, to create more markets for American-made biofuels and green energy technologies. http://bit.ly/lZp73y

187. Obama EPA reversed a Bush-era decision to allow the largest mountaintop removal project in US history. http://bit.ly/lP3yEL

188. Ordered the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances. http://1.usa.gov/g3MTbu

189. Ordered energy plants to prepare to produce at least 15% of all energy through renewable resources like wind and solar, by 2021. http://reut.rs/fV155p (Republicans are trying hard to kill it.)

190. Oversaw the creation of an initiative that converts old factories and manufacturing centers into new clean technology centers. http://bit.ly/mjnq2R

191. Bypassed Republican opposition in Congress and ordered EPA to begin regulating and measuring carbon emissions. http://bit.ly/froaP5

192. Obama EPA ruled that CO2 is a pollutant. http://bit.ly/iQTSNN

193. Doubling federal spending on clean energy research. http://bit.ly/iN0sCE

194. Pushed through a tax credit to help people buy plug-in hybrid cars. http://bit.ly/j8UP5Y

195. Created a program to develop renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that will produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents. http://1.usa.gov/fgfRWq

196. Reengaged in the climate change and greenhouse gas emissions agreements talks, and proposed one himself. He also addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference, officially reversing the Bush era stance that climate change was a "hoax." http://bit.ly/dX6Vj3 http://bit.ly/fE2PxK http://nyti.ms/hfeqvv

197. Fully supported the initial phase of the creation of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide. http://bit.ly/eJ6QOO

198. Required states to provide incentives to utilities to reduce their energy consumption.http://bit.ly/lBhk7P

199. Following the neglect of Bush’s eight year reign, he reengaged in a number of treaties and agreements designed to protect the Antarctic. http://bit.ly/fzQUFO

200. Created tax write-offs for purchases of hybrid automobiles, and later he and Democrats morphed that program into one that includes electric cars. http://bit.ly/glCukV

201. Mandated that federal government fleet purchases be for fuel-efficient American vehicles, and encouraged that federal agencies support experimental, fuel-efficient vehicles. http://bit.ly/h5KZqy http://1.usa.gov/fLWq5c http://1.usa.gov/hmUSbk

202. Got BP to cough up $20 billion to establish Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, to reduce the need for taxpayer funds to be used for compensation and clean up. http://wapo.st/ds2BxT (Note: it took 20 years to get $1.3 billion for the Exxon Valdez spill. )

203. Oversaw and pushed through an amendment to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizing advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. http://1.usa.gov/yTRYVo

204. Actively tried to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to eliminate the liability limits for those companies responsible for large oil spills. http://nyti.ms/bxjDi3

205. Became the first President to simply say "Climate Change is a fact," and set up the first federal government protocols for dealing with the impacts of climate change. http://1.usa.gov/1b7V67B

206. Initiated Criminal and Civil inquiries into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. http://nyti.ms/bVuB7a

207. Asserted federal legal supremacy to bar Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own. http://bit.ly/ww8eMd

208. Strengthened the Endangered Species Act. http://bit.ly/hscjsH

209. Strengthened protection for wildlife, and expanded enforcement of laws against wildlife trafficking. http://1.usa.gov/1fce1Ai

210. Obama EPA improved boiler safety standards to improve air quality, and save 6500 lives per year. http://bit.ly/jYH7nt

211. Through the EPA, attemped to take steps to severely limit the use of antibiotics in livestock feed, to increase their efficacy in humans. http://bit.ly/fBuWd2

212. Through new EPA regulations, he created a pretext for closing the dirtiest power plants in the country, by limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic gasses. http://bit.ly/rQCIgA

213. Increased funding for National Parks and Forests by 10% http://bit.ly/fbJPjY

214. Announced greatly improved commercial fuel efficiency standards. http://1.usa.gov/oQiC1K

215. Announced a huge increase in average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg in 2010 to 35.5mpg starting in 2016 and 54.5 starting in 2025 http://1.usa.gov/qtghsW

216. Issued an Executive Order to facilitate investments in industrial energy efficiency that will help create jobs, while strengthening US manufacturing. Increased efficiency could save businesses $100 billion over the next decade. http://1.usa.gov/WsIgbx

217. Through an executive order, set up the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, which will to oversee Gulf Coast restoration efforts in the wake of the 2010 BP oil splll. The money to fund the restoration efforts comes from fines against BP. http://1.usa.gov/Rxjb29

218. Through executive actions and bypassing the ineffectual Rublican Congress, announced the most comprehensive plan to combat climate change in a generation. http://bit.ly/13lXhET

But That’s Not All…
219. Expanded trade agreements to include stricter labor and environmental agreements such as NAFTA. http://bit.ly/etznpY

220. Oversaw funding of the design of a new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History, which is scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015. He protected the funding during the recent budget negotiations. http://on.fb.me/fD0EVO http://bit.ly/ff5Luv

221. Oversaw and passed increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. http://bit.ly/dFb8qF

222. Nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor is the first Hispanic Justice in the court’s history, and the women represent only the third and fourth women to serve on the court, out of a total of 112 justices. http://huff.to/eOChg6 http://bit.ly/i02wgP

223. Appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history, including more women than any other incoming president. http://bit.ly/dX6vNB

224. Eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education, and rescinded the global gag rule. http://bit.ly/eCFAI1 http://bit.ly/f92drF

225. Loosened the rules and allowed the 14 states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves without federal interference. http://huff.to/eQfa7j

226. Signed national service legislation, increasing funding for national service groups, including triple the size of the Americorps program. http://bit.ly/idgQH5

227. Signed an Executive Order that will speed up deployment of a more comprehensive broadband infrastructure. http://1.usa.gov/M7rVpe

228. Signed an Executive Order creating jobs immediately by instructing them to reduce the time needed for review and permitting of infrastructure projects. http://1.usa.gov/GHxaYt

229. Signed a bill that provided $4.3 billion in additional assistance to 9/11 first responders. http://bit.ly/o7cWYS

230. Signed an Executive Order pledging support for efforts to end the global problem of violence against women and girls. http://1.usa.gov/MHTRVU

231. Signed the Claims Resolution Act, which provided $4.6 billion in funding for a legal settlement with black and Native American farmers who had been cheated out of government loans and natural resource royalties in the past. http://1.usa.gov/dGppUa

232. To help those communities devastated by Hurricane Samdy, issued an executive order setting up the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, and asked Congress to approve $60 billion in supplemental assistance to aid in storm recovery. http://1.usa.gov/134L7hl

233. Produced 23 Executive actions designed to make it easier for law enforcement to identify those who shouldn’t have guns, thus helping them enforce the law. http://on.wsj.com/SX9xaZ


And Did You Know?
234. Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office. Though he is often cited as superior to Obama, President Lyndon Johnson’s success rate in 1965 was only 93%. http://n.pr/i3d7cY


And of course…
235. Despite the odds, became the first black president and was reelected by a wide margin.

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http://pleasecutthecrap.com/obama-accomplishments/
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Eric L. Wattree
http://wattree.blogspot.com/
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
.
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.




 


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