Monthly Archives: January 2010

U.S. Education System Snobbish, Stuck in the 1950's

The American education system isn’t the envy of the world.  It’s not even the prize of  U.S. citizens who are becoming more disenchanted with the archaic system the longer it continues.  It is a fine example of why the government is not the answer to what ills us.

This is an open thread that starts with some ideas on how it might be improved.  The purpose of this thread is to connect the thoughts from as many contributors as I can into a single presentation.  Comments to this article (or email submissions if that’s more comfortable) will be combined into a single presentation.

Americans are growing angry over many things the government is failing to do.  One of those things is basic education.

The anger isn’t with the teachers – they work hard and teach what they’re asked to teach.  Parents aren’t always to blame as they vary from over-bearing “helicopter parents” to nearly non-existent.  But there is anger.  Anger at the system itself.  A system that graduates just 77% of it’s students from secondary education (high school), lower than most developed countries.  Though graduates can read,write, do math, and recite some really basic history, they don’t have any real life or job skills after 13 years in the system.

Kids don’t just drop-out due to grades, sometimes it’s due to feeling like school isn’t teaching them anything useful.  In many cases, they may be right.

There are numerous proposals to reform education by putting more money into higher-technology tools, paying for tutors, buying better books, etc.  Throwing money at the problem has always been the politician’s and administrator’s answer and it has never worked.

A set of reforms based on American values and understanding the individual could be put in place that would help all students, not just the ones that want to be doctors, lawyers or MBAs:

  1. Privatize more of the system and increase charter school caps (yes, government limits the number of charter schools).  This system is suffering from a lack of competition.  Everyone realizes that private schools tend to be better, but not everyone can afford them.  Charter schools compete for students and are on par with private schooling.  Perhaps all schools should compete for students (and therefor, education/tax dollars).  If the parents don’t feel their kids are being educated effectively, they should be able to move them.  Today’s draconian system of borders that dictate a child’s school by their address is a fundamental flaw.  The school will have students no matter how mediocre it is and therefor has little reason to excel – mediocre is good enough.
  2. Diversify the education ecosystem.   Not everyone is going to be the next President, and most don’t even want to.  High-schools should be more accommodating of students that want to work with their hands (industrial arts) and realize that not all students need or want so many courses to “round them out”.  Trade craft should not be lower on the totem pole.  The German system has a singular curriculum up until 5th grade at which point the students abilities, desires, and character will position them for one of three next level schools.  Maybe the German’s figured out what we haven’t: not all people are the same and not all should be taught the same things.   Even those that don’t make it to academic greatness have a chance at vocational greatness.  Not everyone wants an A in English lit, but everyone wants to be good at something.
  3. Teach real-life skills.  Spend more time discussing how to put a savings plan together, why borrowing too much is bad, how credit really works, taking care of finances, crafting a budget, buying a house, setting up a computer, maintaining a car, etc.  That way we don’t have to have the travesties of people losing their houses because they say they didn’t understand the contract or process.
  4. Teach the kids how to learn, not just what to learn.  The current model is focused on wrote memorization, probably to get the student ready for all the government tests the school needs them to pass
  5. Change the message: College is not the only acceptable path to success.  A brilliant electrician needs zero college to be successful and doesn’t need to feel subhuman because he doesn’t want to go or can’t afford to go.  A piece of paper does not make someone successful.  If the trade requires post-secondary education then so-be-it.  Doctors, lawyers, engineers and the like need something past high-school.  Colleges need to understand their purpose and refocus.
  6. College needs an overhaul.  The desire to balance the student has overtaken the need to ready the citizen.  If they are studying to be an aerospace engineer, that class in music history, archery, or modern basketry is useless.  They may wish to take it on their own, but making it mandatory is snobbery at it’s finest.  Most college degrees don’t prepare the student for their actual career much better than two or three well-written text books could.  Technical schools should be the focus, and perhaps public universities should refocus their schools around actual career needs.

Supreme Court Overrules Political Spending Limits

Ever since the Supreme Court decided to allow corporations to spend money on political advertising, liberals and extremists have been in an uproar.   Ralph Nader is threatening to change the first amendment and the President wants new legislation to counter the court finding (that’s not Constitutional Mr. President, you’ll have to amend the constitution … checks and balances sir).  The Supreme Court decision will most-likely end up changing… absolutely nothing.

Large corporations have used 527 funds to funnel money to campaigns ever since soft-money became regulated.  Now they can just be open about who their supporting… wait… what?  That’s right, a public corporation would have to be totally transparent about buying a television advertisement for “candidate A”  to their stock holders and board members.  It’s more likely that they’ll use the money for business operations as the alignment to a candidate will alienate some set of customers.

As is most of liberal politics, this is much ado about nothing.  To Obama and Schummer I say, “I think thou doth protest too much”. This isn’t about direct campaign contributions, it’s about the right of everyone to produce and publicize their views in commercials and/or documentaries.

Only liberals could believe that voters are all so stupid that we do whatever we’re told by the television.  We see commercials, but we have ideals, morals, principals.  We vote our conscience, not because of some slick commercial.

Why are they so worried?  The news media corporations are already allowed to use their access to the public to influence things, why not the rest of corporate America?  They aren’t.  This is a diversionary tactic.  They need the media to stop talking about Scott Brown.  Liberals need us to stop paying attention to the fact that Obamacare and cap and trade are drowning in reality.  Talking about something that just doesn’t really matter is much better for the left than discussing all the critical issues that they have failed to do anything on.

The CEO of Kraft isn’t going to get his best friend elected to the Senate by spending millions on advertising.  Buffet isn’t going to get Obama re-elected by spending his companies money on info-mercials.  Corporations aren’t going to be able to buy a candidacy because we aren’t controlled by advertising.  Most of us just fast-forward the DVR right past those ads anyway.

The Reason for State Budget Collapses: Tax Cuts

In a Washington Independent article, Martha White writes that tax cuts and reductions to federal expenditures are to blame for the collapse of state budgets:

A decade’s worth of cuts in federal aid combined with states moving to copy Bush administration tax cuts have led to states filling revenue shortfalls with regressive tax policies that disproportionately affect the poorest Americans.

The premise of the article is actually somewhat logical.  Sales taxes are not as progressive as income taxes.  Martha never makes that connection, instead, the article discusses how regressive sales taxes are.  An Emory professor piles on saying that:

“To the extent that states rely on sales tax, they’re going to be regressive,” said Howard Abrams, professor at Emory University School of Law, pointing out that the most regressive states in the ITEP report depend on sales and excise tax revenues to a great degree. Since poor individuals spend rather than save more — or all — of their income, sales tax as well as excise taxes on goods like gasoline and cigarettes..

As they say, statistics can be made to say anything.  Regressive taxation says that the rate of taxation decreases as income increases.  This article is so focused on only those taxes that affect the non-wealthy that it fails to recognize that taxes in this country are incredibly progressive (increasing in rate with income).  A few sources help us understand how progressive a system we have.  Wikipedia:

For example, a tax of 15% on all income earned up to $50,000, plus a tax of 25% on each dollar earned between $50,001 and $100,000, plus a tax of 34% of all income earned above $100,000. The United States currently uses increasing percentage rates.

How about the fact that the top 1% of income tax returns paid 40.4% of all taxes while earning less than 23% of the income.   It isn’t possible to have a regressive tax system where the ratio of taxation to income is so high at the upper-end.

If it were states with fewer programs and lower taxes that were having the largest financial problems, why are conservative (read: lower taxes and fewer programs) states the ones not that are facing ultimate failure.  California is in dire straights and one might argue that they spend more per capita on programs and I do not believe that anyone would say that they have a conservative taxation policy.

If we are serious about states avoiding cost overruns, we would be laying off state workers and deferring state costs at the same rate that everyone else is during the recession.

This article actually argues its’ own point.

Progressive groups are hopeful that the Obama administration will reverse some of these disparities by allowing provisions that cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans to expire next year and in 2011. While this wouldn’t directly change states’ tax structures, these changes to the federal tax code would create a healthier balance for poor as well as middle-class citizens.

This simply raises taxes on the upper end, it doesn’t reduce the taxation on low income-earners.  More slight-0f-hand by progressives.  They aren’t worried about what happens to the poor, they just need the rich to suffer.  Don’t control spending, just find a way to spend more (a.k.a. progressive taxation).

This new math is precisely why deficits are going through the roof.  This is another illogical justification for poor spending policies.  We should instead be cutting programs to fit into affordable budgets, instead of throwing out populist complaints about taxation policy.  Seriously Martha, don’t bother with the facts… they are just too concrete for you.

Obama Hasn't Done Enough Damage Yet. More Coming

Between the failed stimulus package (8% unemployment?), bailouts for the auto industry (the only one doing well is Ford), hostages in Iran, the fact that Chavez doesn’t like us and now the Russians are gearing up for another cold war…  it’s obvious that Obama hasn’t accomplished nearly enough destruction of the American way-of-life.  That’s ok, he has a plan to complete his scorched-earth style Presidency.

Obama is going to take our financial system to ruin by making the banks so small they can’t compete (which will also kill NYC main industry) and he’s going to allow the treasury’s Making Homes Affordable mortgage modification program to be accessed with far less documentation (isn’t this what got us here?)… so we can have many more secondary defaults that the tax payers have to eat instead of the banks.

This has got to be on purpose.  No one could possibly screw the country into the ground so effectively on accident – other than Carter, wait.. maybe Obama’s just inept.  After then 2010 elections can we impeach him for mental illness or incapacitation?  He’s either inept or a foreign spy.

The Rising Cost of Congress

For the last year, we have all been beaten over the head repeatedly with the notion that health care costs are rising so fast that families can’t afford their insurance.  Is anyone applying the same formula to Congress?  They don’t mind spending our money in a care-free manner.

We’ve built numerous post-offices and airports as Congressional namesakes.  Fountains have been built, statues erected, and airports that only Congressmen use… once-in-awhile.

Why doesn’t that need reform?  What happened to that Obama scalpel that was to be applied to the federal budget.  I don’t remember much of anything getting cut out.

Congress is working out a $1.9 trillion increase to the federal debt limit.  The increase alone would have funded the entirety of government operations and programs less than a decade ago.  That’s a much more serious cost increase than what’s happening in health care.

Many might argue that health care is why these costs are rising so fast.  That’s diversionary at best.  Stay focused.  The expansion of Medicaid is funded by the States (where it belongs), the fact that the federal government is involved in health care at all is a gigantic Constitutional issue that no one wants to tackle.  What’s even more misleading is the fact that the largest expenditure actually has nothing to do with health care… it’s income security (Social Security, welfare, and unemployment) at 22% of all expenses.

So it’s not the military, it’s government entitlements?  It gets worse.  Tack on Medicare and Medicaid and you have the next 20%.  That’s right, 42% of our deficit-producing expenses are due to programs Congress signed into law and cannot run efficiently (or effectively).

Congress talks about the cost of wars because with how executive war powers are setup now, they aren’t to blame.  The President sends troops somewhere, they have to support them.. it’s now their fault.  Darn shame that’s now where the bulk of our money is really going.

In the recent health care reform debate, there were discussion of saving billions of dollars from the government health care programs by addressing fraud, waste and abuse.  I say, get busy.  We are paying you to oversee (they call it regulate) the programs they force down our throats.  So get regulating.  If Medicare are so fraught with inefficiency as claimed by Democrats last year, then why haven’t they fixed it?

Americans tire of hearing how we have to change everything but Congress.  I guess perhaps we have stopped believing the hype and now we know where the change is needed.

Ralph Nader Wants to Eliminate Free Speech

Ralph Nader is using his Public Citizen corporation to push for an amendment to one of the amendments in the Constitution that is in the Bill of Rights. Nader is after the first amendment, the right to free speech. He is so disappointed that the supreme court upheld the actual amendment that prevents Congress from making any law that restricts speech that he is now seeking to change the Constitution.  From washintonexaminer.com:

“Public Citizen will aggressively work in support of a constitutional amendment specifying that for-profit corporations are not entitled to First Amendment protections, except for freedom of the press.”

If that’s not caveated to hell without him even saying so..  Corporations like Public Citizen (a not-for-profit) would not be held to that rule nor would the media.

What that means is the media corporations, and groups like ACORN could send as much money as they like to political candidates, but Jim’s Toy inc.  would be limited.  Ralph is off his rocker and if the Democrats try to push this load of horse-hockey through, that will be icing on the cake.  Vote for the amendment, you’d better have a career-change plan in-place.

It will start with limiting the speech of corporations, because they have too much money and therefor power.  Then, it will be people making over … say $150,000 a year for the same reason.  Then, because the opposition party has too much power, we should limit their contributions and speech.  Lastly, anyone we don’t like shouldn’t be able to contribute nor should they have a right to free speech.  This is a ridiculously slippery slope.  Leave the constitution alone, especially free speech.

The left was warned on the whole health care thing and they ignored that flare.  Touch the Constitution for such a self-serving, power-grabbing purpose and you’re all toast.  Every, single one of you.

2010 Election Story Worsening After Obama's Interview

Obama did an interview with George Stephanopoulos where he said that he should have been more direct with the American people to help them understand what their core beliefs are.  Well, congratulations, the Obama death wish on Democrat candidates continues.

Obama managed to turn the Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts elections over to the GOP, just by talking.  Blaming Bush, talking to us like we’re children, and basically ignoring the wishes of the voting public have not worked.  Obama has now helped seal the fate of many more elections.  In recent Rasmussen polls we see that Democrats are going to have to stop whistling by the grave yard:

These are just the ones with recent polling data.  As we discover more, we’ll add them in.

Medicaid an Anchor Around The Necks of States

Medicaid and Medicare were held up as the government-run successes that prove that we can afford universal health care and that it works.  In North Carolina and Oklahoma, severe Medicaid budget overruns are being reported and the blame is partly that enrolllees are using more medical services.  Of course they are, because it’s free.  That is precisely the problem with a medical system that costs the direct consumer nothing.  They will abuse it.

Now we start to hear that patient access is facing severe challenges.  Less than 50% of doctors take Medicaid patients.  As the provider-pay issue rises, where providers are severely under-compensated, doctors drop out of the Medicaid program.  amedNews.com had this to say:

Now that we have an 18-month reprieve, giving us time to work on a replacement of the flawed sustainable growth rate formula for Medicare payment, let’s take a look at Medicaid. As bad as the Medicare problem is, it pales in comparison with the enormous inequities for patients and physicians that come from the patchwork of Medicaid programs.

Fewer doctors for more patients leads to a medical access nightmare.  One the Democrats have failed to foresee or are simply ignoring in order to get their radical plans passed.

A heritage.org article states that Medicaid also fails to be effective as a health plan:

In a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, for example, researchers found that women on Medicaid were three times more likely to die of breast cancer than were women not on Medicaid. Women on Medicaid tended to have late-stage diagnoses and receive less radiation treatment. Medicaid is unable to offer its enrollees the same level of quality care that the private sector offers.

Government-run health care modeled on expanding Medicaid is neither more efficient nor effective than our current health care system, but at least if it’s run by individual states, it’s Constitutional.  If that’s any comfort at all.

Obama Still Missing the Mark on What Americans Want

A landmark election result came out of Massachusetts on Tuesday and the White House doesn’t see the forest or the trees. In a stunning reaction to the election, the President attacks banks in an effort to limit their size and the amount of risk they can take on.

One of his suggestions are to place a dividing wall between investment and consumer banks. This move won’t protect the financial system at all. AIG is a “non-bank” and was one of the major institutions the feds thought was “too big to fail”. In addition, the dividing line will remove some flexibility within those businesses to react to bad situations. Some analysts believe that banks could lose 20-50% of their profits if this goes in and that they will no longer be competitive in the international financial industry.

Obama Admiring ... himselfWhat’s even more disconcerting is that Obama didn’t hear the cry of the average American. While many are easy to pile their anger on to the banks, the real things voters want: fix the jobs situation, make us secure.

This new attack on banks comes oddly on the same day that disappointing first-time employment numbers and unexpectedly terrible manufacturing sector figures were released. The media is transfixed on Obama leading a cavalry charge to disembowel mean bankers, but no one is paying attention to the fact that the recovery isn’t actually happening or that the job situation is not improving – after the egregious amount of printed money he spent.

If limiting the size of financial institutions is really the fix we need, why are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mysteriously missing? Why is the President still pressing to consolidate all consumer student loans under one government entity? Why is leaving all that risk under fewer roofs good? Somehow the government is better at managing risk than the private sector?

If more regulation and government oversight fixes everything, then explain why Fannie Mae had to beg for another $15 billion in November and recorded an almost $19 billion loss for just the third quarter?

This smoke and mirrors approach to concealing the fact that government oversight and regulation failed even worse than the private banks – and none of this will do anything to fix unemployment or the economy.

Obama: More Speeches Needed for Policies to Succeed

I was watching an interview of President Obama by George Stephanopoulos just after the election of Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate. I wanted to see how he would adjust to the voice of the American voter. Would he pull a Clinton and understand that his policies were unpopular, state that he hears us and moderate his strategy or would he go Obama on us?

In the end, he went Obama. The entire interview was him acting as if his approval rating was still in the 70s and ignoring that, for the first time in decades, a Republican had been elected as a Massachusetts Senator. The President actually said that that the real reason he was failing was that he, “lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are..”. So he hasn’t effectively told us what we should believe? This is easily one of the most arrogant people in modern American politics. In the entirety of the interview not once does he say, I hear you America, or that he gets it. He just talks about pushing on, even saying that, “government can solve any problems whatsoever.”

Sure, he’s failing due to a lack of good speeches. Let’s ignore a radical left-wing agenda, an outright disregard of the Constitution, the lack of transparency in the health care debate, the back room deals and blatant vote-buying bribes. None of that could have been the reason Americans are rejecting him in increasing numbers. We just haven’t heard enough of his speeches, because clearly, 411 was not the magic number.

Progressive Soap Box, Air America, to File Bankruptcy and Cease Programming

This memo at airamerica.com closes the chapter on a liberal talk radio outlet.  The memo basically blames the economy.  While economics (specifically supply and demand) are in-play, the economy is not why they lasted only 4 1/2 years.

The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America’s business. This past year has seen a “perfect storm” in the media industry generally. National and local advertising revenues have fallen drastically, causing many media companies nationwide to fold or seek bankruptcy protection. From large to small, recent bankruptcies like Citadel Broadcasting and closures like that of the industry’s long-time trade publication Radio and Records have signaled that these are very difficult and rapidly changing times.

Just like Obama blames G.W. Bush for everything including the failed Coakley campaign, this liberal mouthpiece fails to understand that liberals already know everything and don’t need an informational show with them in mind.

Olympia Snowe May Yet Give Democrats Their Super-Majority

Politico.com reports that Olympia Snowe (RINO-Maine) is letting Reid’s insulting comments on her go and she might yet continue to support the liberal agenda.  Maine, seriously, it’s time to go Massachusetts her.

Speaking with reporters in the Capitol Wednesday, Snowe said she has yet to speak with Reid regarding his critical comments in The New York Times last week. In the article, the Nevada Democrat is critical of the bipartisan talks that failed in the Senate over health care, and Reid says of Snowe: “As I look back it was a waste of time dealing with her because she had no intention of ever working anything out.”

To which Snowe answered:
“I can’t account for why he said what he said,” Snowe said. “I keep working moving forward on all the issues that matter.”
Of course, it’s fine to insult a fellow Senator, it’s ok for Reid to dish out racist comments, it’s just ok for Reid to do anything.  Snowe deciding that this behavior is allowable may signal her willingness to be the one Republican to cross the isle.  Is her retirement plan finalized?

Democrats Continue the Spend-Fest: $1.9 Trillion Addition to Debt

Foxnews.com is reporting that the liberal Congress is about to run back to the well to pull almost $2 trillion from our children’s pockets. Obama did not take a scalpel to the budget as he said he would and now Congress is coming back to the trough to pay for everything Barack failed to cut.

The record increase in the so-called debt limit is required because the budget deficit has spiraled out of control in the wake of a recession that cut tax revenues, the Wall Street bailout, and increased spending by the Democratic-controlled Congress. Last year’s deficit hit a phenomenal $1.4 trillion, and the current year’s deficit promises to be as high or higher.

The good news is that a limited-government, deficit hawk Republican has just been elected to the Senate:

Congress has never failed to increase the borrowing limit, but it will take 60 votes to pass the legislation under an agreement by top Senate leaders.

Getting 60 votes became more complicated after Sen.-elect Scott Brown’s victory Tuesday in Massachusetts. Democrats will shortly have 59 Senate seats and will need at least one Republican to pass the legislation.

At some point, we have to realize that while we are all offended by the inflation of Medical costs, no one is taking aim at the inredible increase in the cost of funding… the government.

Less than a decade ago, $1.9 trillion would have been enough to finance the operations and programs of the federal government for an entire year.

Pick-Up Truck to Blame for Coakley Loss

Democrat-hated TruckCommentators and pundits are trying to figure out just why Coakley lost.  The White House press secretary thinks it’s Bush’s fault, Coakley’s lead pollster blames the White House, and the rest of the liberal leadership … hates Scott Brown’s truck.

John Kerry said, “I’ve got news for you, Scott: George Bush drove a truck, too, and look where it got us”.  Coakley said that it didn’t matter that Brown drove a truck because he was going in the wrong direction.  Obama decided to attack Scott’s mode of transportation by telling us all to “forget the truck” and “everybody can buy a truck”.

Hearing all of this truck-bashing seriously reminded me of the Southwest Airlines commercial when they ask, “why do they hate your bags so much”. So Mr. President, why do you hate our trucks so much? Are you too good to ride in a truck? Are people that drive trucks stupid or unworthy? Are we the less-equal animals in Orwell’s book?

It’s obvious that Obama has no concern for the common citizen, because we’re… common.  We don’t eat arugula regularly (or at all), have lobster at every meal or play golf while our responsibilities are being ignored.  Instead we might drive trucks, because putting mulch in a sedan isn’t effective, and just try putting a sheet of plywood on your econo-scooter.  Then again, we are the same ones that cling to our bibles and guns.  Somehow having religion and legally owning a firearm also knocks us down on the animal equality meter.

In a post on nationalreview.com, Mark Steyn also sees a growing hatred of trucks in our country:

America is becoming a bilingual society, divided between those who think a pickup is a rugged vehicle useful for transporting heavy-duty items from A to B and those who think a pickup is coded racism.

I drive a pickup and it has over 100,000 miles on it.  I have a bible and … guns.  The Democrats problem is that they are the only ones offended by these facts.  They are certainly the only ones that would look down their elitist noses at someone with  an 8 year old truck.  Clearly I drive it because I can’t afford to buy a new shiny BMW every three years – or perhaps, because I don’t want to.  If someone else likes the new car smell so much they discard a perfectly useful vehicle and don’t mind being constantly in debt, so be it.  It’s their choice and it doesn’t affect me at all.  I like not having had a car payment in recent history.  I hope I get 250,000 miles out of this truck and I hope it irritates the crap out of the President.

If you listen to Obama, Brown got elected because we’re all still mad at Bush.  I’ll pile that one on to truck-hatred and bible/gun bashing. Coakley lost because she was inept and decided to support Obama’s failed policies.  The failed policies of the current administration.  She lost because she decided to speak for Kurt Schilling (and not correctly), couldn’t spell her own state, and … hates trucks.  She lost because she is out of touch with America – and so goes the Democrat party.

One Year In, Obama Achieves Everthing He Promised.. kinda

Obama Superman

Obama Demonstrating Proposed Success

Obama raised the bar by promising the world to American voters. This kind of “two cars in every garage” campaigning has been done for decades, but no one did it better. But what is astounding is that he actually pulled it off.

Obama promised that he would work hard to end the climate catastrophe. Success! The world is experiencing a colder winter than in recent history, the Himalayan glaciers are reported to not be melting in the next 5 years.. if at all, and arctic sea ice is growing… check: the environment as fixed.

Obama said that he wouldn’t be changed by Washington.  Complete success.  He’s still the same Chicago bureaucrat that he was while voting “absent” in his past political position.

Health care costs: another win. Healthcare cost inflation is now at it’s lowest in decades. Obviously due to … something Obama did or in spite of something Bush did – I’m not sure, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Getting our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan: kinda sorta. Obama is all about taking credit for the success in Iraq, but clearly the challenges in Afghanistan are Bush’s fault. We are just left wondering why Bush ran out the Taliban (the real reason we were there) then started pulling the troops once the objective had been met. Obama has decided to go berzerk in Afghanistan with no real objective… this one is all his and we’ll have to see how it goes.

Work with Iran on nukes: Success! Iran has declared that it has no nukes and doesn’t need the U.S. deal. Clearly that means things are fine.. except for the American hostages they are still holding that we don’t hear anything about in the media. Yellow ribbon anyone? How many days have they been there? 5 1/2 months. What is Obama doing… pretty much the same thing Carter did with the first set of American hostages… waiting them out. Do we have to wait until 2012 to get these Americans released? Where is the outrage, the bomb Iran stickers, the “I’m mad too Eddy” shirts? I guess this is success. They don’t hate us, they just aren’t really taking us serious anymore.

No new taxes on anyone making less than $250k. Extreme success, because the Cadillac tax on health insurance is actually a fee.  Bankers make more than that Of course, they will pass that on to consumers, but that’s not a tax – it’s the banks charging higher fees.. to cover their new taxes.

Lastly, he promised a new era of bipartisanship: giant success. The first Republican in 40 years has been elected to a Massachusetts Senate seat. We now are back to a two-party Senate. This one is a real success and it is all due to Obama’s policies. Kudo’s to the President.