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8 Bush Years, 8 Obama Months

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It never ceases to amaze me how unsophisticated the American public is when it comes to our political system. The average Joe seems to be unaware that we have three separate branches of government and the President runs only one of those. The President has been in office a little over 8 months, is fighting two wars, the worst economy since the Great Depression, trying to work with Republicans that are much more interested in seeing him fail than accomplishing anything for the country, and yet it seems we will have a health care bill, after 70 years of talking about it. Will it be the bill that some of us hoped for? One with a public option--the jury is still out but if there is not, the blame is with the Congress and not the President. If the President is sent a bill with a public option, he will sign it.

There are people that will not support the President regardless of what he does. Some of those are simply people that will not support a Democrat regardless, while others will not for fear of loss of their money and still others because of the color of his skin. I hear people deny the latter, feeling that political correctness dictates they deny their bias. I have more respect for the redneck that says, "I ain't going to vote for no black man for my president" as opposed to the educated person that has some sham excuse because they fear political correctness. Stick your head in the sand if that makes you feel better but to deny the discrimination that we live with is absurd.

The first full day in office saw the President sign the order to close Guantanamo and yet we hear from Republicans that it is not safe to bring these dangerous people and incarcerate them in America. Do they really expect us to believe that we cannot find secure prisons for these people? We have murderers, bombers, psychopaths, mafia dons, and serial killers and they want us to believe that the people that were scooped up in Bush's rampage are too dangerous to even be in a prison? Give me a break. It has already been admitted that many were not guilty of anything and some were legitimate journalists.

When it comes to Afghanistan I expect to see more troops being sent but the strategy has changed. Instead of fighting a war that Alexander the Great could not win, nor the Brits or Russians, the focus will be to make the villages safe and protect the locals. I have not been to Afghanistan but I do have friends that have spent years there and it is like stepping back in time a thousand years. I have spent years in Indonesia, been in Laos, Cambodia, Burma, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, and some places I have forgotten and there is a similar mind set in all these countries. They are ancient cultures, numerous belief systems, put a lot of value on "face" and feel America is a bully and have no respect for their culture. If we are to gain anything in Afghanistan, it will be by "winning over" the local's one village at a time. The Obama Administration knows this, as does Gen. McCrystal.

Since March, the Dow has improved over 40% and there is talk of the recession being over. The President has said over and over that unemployment will go over 10% but there is no doubt the economy has improved. I know it is old news, but when Bush came to office, we had a huge surpluses and when he left we had the largest deficit in history. It took the Bush Administration 8 years to accomplish this and Obama has had only 8 months to start our recovery. The President has been challenged as to his place of birth, his religion, his experience, and has been depicted as a black medicine man, and one crazy news person has alluded to his death. Yet he still remains calm, still reaches out to Republicans, Iranians, North Korea, and is open to all with ideas of how we make a better world. I worked for the President, donated and stood with him. I still stand with him today.
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Gin Arnold is a 70 year old liberal living in Cotacachi, Ecuador after living in S. Alabama. I have owned several businesses, lived aboard a 32 foot sailing yacht, been a bar tender, boat captain, short order cook, and imported furniture from (more...)
 

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