As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: Weekly Address

White House Chief of Staff Delivers Weekly Message in Spanish

Are we a bilingual country or what!! Usually it’s some lower level functionary, but this morning the second most powerful person in the White House is speaking Spanish to America.

I feel so bad for my grandparents today. How is it that Roosevelt never gave one of his fireside chats in Yiddish? I mean, there were lots Jewish immigrants from the shtetls in the country at the time. I guess they had to learn English.

The translation is offered by President Obama, who served up the address in English. It includes this egregious little lecture:

We are only here because this country welcomed our forebears, and taught them that being American is about more than what we look like or where we come from. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal — that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.

The subtext of the first sentence is that those who oppose Obama on immigration do so out of racism. That conservatives don’t want a bunch of Latinos running around ruining white America, and we’ve got to remember, that “being American is about more than what we look like or where we come from.”

Thanks, Mr. President, I’ll try to stop being such a hater.

And then there’s the second line, about the American ideal “that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.”

Again, first let me express my appreciation for the reminder that others are my equal even though they be not white. It’s something I need reminding of as I immerse myself daily in the rapture of my superiority.

But I would in turn remind the president that this is not by itself “what makes us Americans.” This and lots of other things do, including love for the Constitution and for freedom, which implies an executive branch that doesn’t rule in the manner of King George III.

And while we are indeed “all created equal,” we are not all created in the same place, and this country cannot be an open door with a welcome mat for all our equals. And equal does not mean the same. If we flood this country too quickly with other cultures, we will lose our own.

The basis of culture is language. It’s the narrative for the culture.

This is not Latin America. Spanish is not co-equal with English here. There is Latin American culture within American culture, but the two are not equal. Latin American culture is wonderful, but American culture is better. That’s why they are coming here, and not the reverse.

And that’s why there should be one weekly White House address, spoken in the language of our culture.

Obama Tacitly Rejects Boehner’s Lawsuit

The system is rigged!

That’s the conclusion of our president about the essential unfairness and repression that exists in the United States, used as justification for continuing to “go it alone” without Congress.

The system. What system?

Is this some college dorm bullshit session where we toss around the latest observations from our favorite Marxist Poli Sci professor?

No, it’s this week’s weekly presidential address, in which President Obama makes clear the important work of fixing the system and fighting Republicans who hate middle class Americans is too important for him to be bothered by John Boehner’s lawsuit, which seeks to rein in Obama’s use of the West Wing to craft legislation.

From the address:

Republicans in Congress keep blocking or voting down almost every serious idea to strengthen the middle class.  This year alone, they’ve said no to raising the minimum wage, no to fair pay, no to student loan reform, no to extending unemployment insurance.  And rather than invest in education that helps working families get ahead, they actually voted to give another massive tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.

This obstruction keeps the system rigged for those at the top, and rigged against the middle class.  And as long as they insist on doing it, I’ll keep taking actions on my own – like the actions I’ve taken already to attract new jobs, lift workers’ wages, and help students pay off their loans.  I’ll do my job.  And if it makes Republicans in Congress mad that I’m trying to help people out, they can join me, and we’ll do it together.

The point is, we could do so much more as a country – as a strong, tight-knit family – if Republicans in Congress were less interested in stacking the deck for those at the top, and more interested in growing the economy for everybody.

What a crappy country this must be in the mind of Obama. Rigged for rich. Nothing for the poor. Nothing for the middle class.

And people like Obama actually have the nerve to think of others as simplistic.

Obama: Health Insurance is a “Right”

You now have the right to health insurance. President Obama decreed it in a radio address the White House made available Saturday morning.

So, as Jefferson surely intended, you have a right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and managed care.

What does that mean, exactly, that you have a “right” to health insurance? I get that Obamacare provides everyone with access to insurance. But they’re still charged for it. How do you charge somebody for something that is a right?

As Obamacare falls apart, get ready for Democrats to insist on a government-provided single payer system. Because only government can guarantee your “rights,” not Aetna.

Here’s a portion of Obama’s remarks. Note the vicious attack on Republicans, and Obama’s suggestion that they’re opposing Obamacare just to experience the joy of “sticking it to me.”

Obama is trying to demonize his opposition – although he surely believes anyway that they are demons – to lay the groundwork for stronger medicine like single payer and unilateral executive actions to combat legitimate opposition in the legislature and the states to his policies. You watch.

Many Members of Congress, in both parties, are working hard to inform their constituents about these benefits, protections, and affordable plans.  But there’s also a group of Republicans in Congress working hard to confuse people, and making empty promises that they’ll either shut down the health care law, or, if they don’t get their way, they’ll shut down the government.

Think about that.  They’re actually having a debate between hurting Americans who will no longer be denied affordable care just because they’ve been sick – and harming the economy and millions of Americans in the process.  And many Republicans are more concerned with how badly this debate will hurt them politically than they are with how badly it’ll hurt the country.

A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they’ll somehow be sticking it to me.  But they’d just be sticking it to you.

Some even say that if you call their office with questions about the law, they’ll refuse to help.  Call me old-fashioned – but that’s lousy constituent service.  And it’s not what you deserve.

Your health insurance isn’t something to play politics with.  Our economy isn’t something to play politics with.  This isn’t a game.  This is about the economic security of millions of families.

See, in the states where governors and legislatures and insurers are working together to implement this law properly – states like California, New York, Colorado and Maryland – competition and consumer choice are actually making insurance affordable.

So I’m going to keep doing everything in my power to make sure this law works as it’s supposed to.  Because in the United States of America, health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right.  And we’re going to keep it that way.

Here’s the full video of Obama’s remarks:

Obama: Republicans Would Repeal Financial Reform

In this week’s address. President Obama touts the financial reform bill – Democrats have labeled it Wall Street Reform to make it more appealing – and says Republicans will act to repeal it.

This is a good and fair strategy, for once, out of the White House. The financial reform legislation is actually about the only major piece of legislation Obama has signed that is actually popular. And Republicans have made noises about repealing it, though it’s really not realistic that the entire law would ever be repealed. But THEY DID SAY IT.

Mr. President, What are you Talking About?

President Obama launches this week’s address to the nation with a fallacy that I assume, if repeated enough, will begin to be generally accepted, if it isn’t already. Here’s what he said.

After a decade of hardship for middle class families, and a recession that wiped away millions of jobs, we are in the middle of a tough fight to rebuild this economy and put folks back to work.

Really? A decade of hardship for middle class families? From 2001-2008, the annual unemployment rate was in the range of 4-5 percent, never topping 6 percent, despite the recession that President Bush inherited from President Clinton.

THAT’S BASICALLY FULL EMPLOYMENT.

Once the recession ended in 2001, the economy grew steadily until 2008.

No question the Bush years ended with a bang, from which Obama has been unable to lift us. There is, however, legitimate debate, rarely voiced in polite society – which accepts that Bush is the culprit – about who and what caused the recession and how widely blame is shared. Likewise, one can also debate how well the middle class did relative to other segments of the society during the Bush years.

BUT THERE IS NO CONCEIVABLE WAY TO ARGUE THAT THE MIDDLE CLASS ENDURED A DECADE OF HARDSHIP, unless having a job and a home is the new hardship.

Please get it right, Mr. President.